Home Buyers, Are You Up to the Competition?

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

Home Buyers, Are You Up to Facing Today's Competition?

 

Buying a home in today’s market is tough. As a home buyer, are you up to facing the competition?! Are you really prepared and are you serious?

 

Market conditions in many areas are challenging, with limited inventory in multiple price points, and lots of buyers (due to pent up demand, and great interest rates, among other reasons) who want to buy and can afford to do so. In short, what these conditions mean is that if you want to buy home you likely will be facing competition for properties that come on the market that you like, and which fit your needs and budget.

 

Are you thinking that because of the pandemic homes are not selling quickly, and buyers are holding off buying?

Do you think home prices are falling?

 

The statistics simply don’t support these notions. Indeed, we are seeing some records being made with the volume of sales rising, and a recovery to the slow housing market in early 2020 that has exceeded many expectations.

 

So how do you compete if you are (1) financially qualified to buy, and (2) truly serious about buying a home now or in the near future?

 

Get pre-approved for a loan early in the processGET PRE-APPROVED WITH A LENDER WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

This cannot be emphasized enough! If you are not a cash buyer, you need to be able to document in writing to a seller, and the listing agent, that you are financially qualified to purchase a home, and at what amount.

 

Relying on one of the online mortgage calculators purported to tell you what you qualify for is probably a waste of time. It likely won’t be accurate especially around rates, and does not give you the financial confidence you should have to search for a home, knowing what you can afford and what your monthly payments are likely to be.

 

Additionally, no seller or listing agent will accept an offer without a written, and current, pre-approval letter that documents you are financially qualified to buy. And your Buyer Agent is going to want to know this, too.

 

Be aware that in these pandemic times many listing agents and sellers want to see a pre-approval before your request to tour the home will be approved. Just saying “yes, I can afford it” will not cut it. Remember…you are competing with other buyers who ARE pre-approved and can document it.

 

Are you serious about buying and want to be competitive? Don’t ignore this step!

 

WORK WITH A KNOWLEDGEABLE REALTOR

Your best guidance about what’s going on in your local market is going to come from a Realtor who is successfully dealing with buyers and sellers on a daily basis, not the Internet. A good Realtor knows the local market conditions, can advise you on pricing and an overall offer strategy for the home you like, will help craft a competitive offer, plus assist you through the purchase process from beginning to end.

 

Here's a housing market update for Carlsbad for August 2020.

 

Know what you need in your new homeKNOW WHAT YOU NEED

When searching for a house knowing what you need is essential.

 

While it’s always important, in this competitive market it’s even more critical to know what you really need…and not just have a wish list of items that probably isn’t realistic or essential.

 

It's certainly appropriate to have a list of features that are nice to have...most buyers do...but you don’t want to decide on a property that does not meet your requirements simply because it offers some of the goodies on your wish list.

 

With the limited inventory, and with the pandemic precautions and procedures that need to be followed, you can’t afford to waste time looking at homes that do not meet your needs, or missing out on those that can work. When you find the property that meets your requirements you will need to decide quickly…that’s tough to do if you aren’t even sure of what it is that you really need.

 

Bear in mind there are often, if not always, tradeoffs with listings you see – they might not check every box on your list but may still meet the majority of your requirements. Consider what you are willing, and able, to give up…or fix/add to the house later. If it’s truly not right, so be it. But don’t be so persnickety that nothing you see works because there is always something you’d like to have that is missing. You'll never find the right house that way!

 

Sale ending signBE PREPARED TO MOVE QUICKLY

If you are serious and want to be competitive, you must decide pretty quickly about seeing a home, or homes, that meet your requirements AND then make an offer if it’s the one.

 

Chances are good others will be looking at the same properties, and making offers without delay. While responding quickly does not guarantee success, delaying a home tour or waiting a day or 2 to decide about an offer could prevent you from achieving your goal of buying a house.

 

To move quickly you need to know what you really need in a house, and have a current pre-approval letter so you can...

 

WRITE A STRONG OFFER

When you find the right property you must be prepared to make an offer. Depending on your market and price point you should probably decide quickly in order to not miss out, but you will want to discuss this with your Realtor who understands the local market conditions and what impact they have on your offer strategy and timing.

 

To compete effectively, you need to write a strong offer – it’s NOT just about price, but other terms and conditions that could be important to the seller and which might give you the edge. Can you compete if you are not a cash buyer? Of course – it’s not just about cash in many cases, especially if a cash offer is not a high as other offers with financing. But it depends on the seller and what important to them.

 

In many markets sellers have a distinct advantage because of supply and demand, and often have multiple offers to choose from, so how do you have your offer come out on top? Read “Is Your Offer Dressed for Success?” for some tips - there are things you can do, and things your Realtor...a good one...will do for you.

 

Sometimes buyers do things that sabotage their offers, perhaps without realizing it. The good news is these are all avoidable. Don't make one of these mistakes if you want to be competitive in this housing market!

 

NEXT STEPS

If you truly are interested in buying a home, and many are, you need to be prepared to compete with other buyers. You can put yourself in the best possible competitive position with a strong and knowledgeable Buyer Agent, having a written pre-approval (or proof of funds if you are paying cash), having a good sense of what you are looking for and need, and have the willingness to move quickly and make a strong offer on any property you like.

 

If I can help with your home search in the Carlsbad and North San Diego County area, or answer any questions about the local market conditions, please reach out to me at (760) 840-1360 directly or by text.

 

BUYER TOOLS

My Playlist on my YouTube Channel, Homebuying Tips and Advice, provides a series of 23 short videos with important information for buyers, whether you are a first time buyer or experienced.

 

While it’s not everything you should know, the videos will answer some key questions for you, and perhaps raise some others for us to discuss.

 

You can also download my Fall 2020 Buyer Guide here with some helpful information to get you started.

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Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
California San Diego County Carlsbad
Groups:
CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE
Buyer Information - What Buyers Need to Know in Today's Market
Advice for Buyers
Tags:
tips for home buyers
how to buy a house
how to buy a home
home buying tips and advice
how to compete in this housing market

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Rainmaker
3,447,697
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jeff the ones that are not prepared, not ready will miss out many times in my market, Endre

Sep 19, 2020 10:12 PM #15
Rainmaker
3,294,019
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Jeff.

Anything priced at 200K or lower, gets multiple offers in a 24-48 hour time frame.  The market is crazy, love it, just love it

Sep 20, 2020 12:54 AM #16
Rainmaker
3,572,212
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

All great tips, Jeff... and putting your best foot forward with the first offer you make is so important in this day and age of multiple offers. I keep telling buyers they can't assume a seller will ask for a highest and best... and I'm seeing many who don't.

Sep 20, 2020 04:52 AM #17
Rainmaker
5,444,365
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good mornign, Jeff Dowler, CRS diffiuclt times are here for buyers.... they MUST be ready and come to the table with a clean slate.....

Sep 20, 2020 06:22 AM #18
Rainmaker
3,044,552
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have had them all, some buyers love the competition and know that they will win out while others don't even want to see a home if they sense competition, haha.

Sep 20, 2020 07:29 AM #19
Rainmaker
4,447,904
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jeff, I am getting calls from buyers wanting to cash in on some foreclosures or short sales.   Have to burst their bubble and tell them there are those who have lost their jobs, but they have equity in their home, so there won't be any screaming deals to be had!  

Sep 20, 2020 09:58 AM #20
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Ron and Alexandra Seigel  - Thank you so much for your kind words!

Being prepared is essential in this market Wayne Martin  Hope you are enjoying your time away.

Jeff

Sep 20, 2020 01:01 PM #21
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

True here as well Endre Barath, Jr. 

Hi James Dray  It's a great time to sell, as long as you can find a place to move! Glad to hear things are well in your market.

Jeff

Sep 20, 2020 01:03 PM #22
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Nina Hollander 

I provide the same advice. The best situation is to make the strongest offer upfront - there may not be another opportunity.

Jeff

Sep 20, 2020 04:28 PM #23
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Very true Barbara Todaro and working with the right agent is important, among other factors.

Jeff

Sep 20, 2020 04:29 PM #24
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Brian England 

I have had a few buyers who are not interested in dealing with the competition. Unfortunately in their price range it's unavoidable.

Jeff

Sep 20, 2020 10:13 PM #25
Rainmaker
2,231,299
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Dowler, CRS - I remember the time we sat down to  talk when you attended the CRS Conference at Gaylord Texas. What I noticed immediately is how quickly you put others at ease. You don't dominate the conversations. You listen. When asked questions, you're a wealth of knowledge. 

Buyers and Sellers will be in good hands when they hire Jeff. 

Sep 21, 2020 05:00 AM #26
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

If we were considering a move to your beautiful area, you would be our guy. Period.  As you mention, many sellers want to see a lender qualification that is vetted - or POF.  I would also be very particular about visitors in my home...you can't believe the number of realtors who are violating our state guidelines. 

Sep 21, 2020 04:59 PM #27
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Joan Cox  We see a few short sales here and there but the overall numbr is pretty small. On average, buyers are paying close to asking price for their new homes.

Jeff

Sep 24, 2020 07:14 AM #28
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

I'm so flattered. But I felt the same about you! In some ways that meet-up seems like yesterday!

Jeff

Sep 24, 2020 07:16 AM #29
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD 

What a nice thing to say.

Many sellers here want that pre-approval or POF. I suspect there are agents here who are not following the rules, too.

Jeff

Sep 24, 2020 07:18 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,611,610
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Excellent info, Jeff. Our market is brutal right now. I will definitely check out your YouTube channel. Great idea.

Oct 19, 2020 07:34 AM #31
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks for the kind words Mike Cooper, GRI  Hope all is well!!

Jeff

Oct 19, 2020 07:40 AM #32
Rainmaker
307,504
Shannon Jones
The Shannon Jones Team - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach CA Real Estate

It's not easy out there for buyers right now that's for sure.

Oct 19, 2020 11:03 AM #33
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Shannon Jones 

So very true. Buyers need to work with a great agent who can help guide them effectively. But there's a lot buyers need to do to be prepared and compete.

Jeff

Oct 19, 2020 11:26 AM #34
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