Updated: Apr 7
Sellers are getting multiple offers and interest rates are the lowest. Clearly, the pandemic caused the real estate market to be the sellers' market.
This means it's tougher for buyers to find the perfect home. Tough, but not impossible. Here are the 5 things you need to know if you are planning to buy a house.
1. Get pre-approved before you house hunt.
Banks have been strict with their lending requirements. Some changes are higher downpayment, and increased minimum credit score, among many. This means that those who've inquired about pre-approval prior to the pandemic might not get approved at all.
It will be a lot more frustrating if you already looked around and found potential homes only to find out that you wouldn't be able to proceed to the next step. So make sure not to skip this step before you look for your dream home.
2. There are plenty of home buyers, but a few houses for sale.
Once you are pre-approved, you have to keep in mind that there are a lot of people looking for homes because of the all-time low-interest rates. This means the competition is tough, and that the inventory is low.
Some homes do not even stay in the market for 24 hours because of the high demand. You need to be on your toes to get recent updates about the market.
3. Maximize virtual tours.
Like it or not, virtual tours are now an essential part of the process of home-buying. Homes can have videos ready for viewing for potential buyers or you can ask your agent to visit the house for you and show you every detail.
You have to be wise in checking each picture, zooming in on them, and asking relevant questions if you have any uncertainty. Also, keep in mind that videographers can make rooms look larger than they seem so keep yourself guarded as you view each photo and video you come across.
Read this first before making an offer after being on an actual or a virtual tour.
4. Work with a trustworthy agent.
Since you will be relying heavily on your agent, you need someone you can trust. A realtor who is not only an expert in the field but also cares for your needs and interests as a buyer. This will be very important so that you will know the pros and cons of each house that you are interested in, and make each major decision a well-informed one.
5. Say goodbye to perks.
The usual extras that buyers often get are the pieces of furniture or appliances that the seller might be leaving in the house. But since the competition is tough, that might not always be the case anymore. There would be cases that you have to let go of those extras to make a better offer to the seller.
This is also where your trust agent comes in, to give you advice in making the best offer that the seller wouldn't be able to refuse. Your offer might be one of many so yours should stand out, even if that means saying goodbye to some of the perks.
Buying is never just about paying for a house. It entails a lot of research and involves a lot of parties. Make sure to get expert advice to guide you every step of the way.
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