When you buy a home in summer, you get to take advantage of the increase in homes on the market, but you also have to deal with increased competition in closing on your dream home. There are a myriad of potential pitfalls in looking for a new home in a competitive market, so read on for some tips on how to get the home you want without getting stuck in a bidding war.
1. Understand This Year’s Competition
Real estate experts agree that spring and summer are the hottest times to buy a home. However, trends change from year to year with regard to what buyers are looking for. Unless the market in your area is busy across the board, you may be able to save some stress by studying your competition. By researching local buying trends, prospective homeowners can anticipate whether there will be others in similar situations as they are, or if the competition will be geared towards other types of houses. In 2017, researchers predict that there will be a dramatic increase of first-time home buyers on the market, looking primarily for starter single-family homes located in the suburbs. If you find yourself in a competitive demographic, you may want to start house hunting earlier in the year to avoid the worst of the competition for good properties.
2. Start Shopping Early
Summer offers a lot of convenience for buyers and sellers alike. The weather is nicer, which makes visiting homes much more comfortable, and families with children have an easier time transitioning with the children out of school. However, buying a home in the middle of the summer does not guarantee that you will be able to close and move by August. Even if you have mortgage pre-approval and are ready to make a down payment, closing often takes at least a month or two. If you want to have your best pick of the available inventory and the time to transition your household before the weather cools, you should start your search in the spring.
3. Prepare to Bid
Invest the time to be sure that you know exactly what you want, the things you do not prefer and what you are prepared to pay before you begin actively looking at homes. In a seller’s market, a home could be listed one day and gone the next. An increase of inventory on the market in summer means that there are likely several homes that would be ideal for your needs. However, you do not want to miss out on the perfect property because you waited an extra day to refine your priorities. Rely on your real estate agent to show you properties that meet your standards, and be ready to make a purchase offer when you see a great deal.
4. Be a Strong Buyer
In any market, sellers need to know that a buyer is able to make good on a purchase offer before they accept it. You can provide assurance that you mean business by:
- proving your access to funding and a down payment
- minimizing the number of contingencies
- making an offer at the asking price
Pick your battles for a property that you really want, and make flexibility the order of the day. A seller who needs to close quickly may be willing to make other concessions to sweeten the deal, such as lower closing costs. If you prioritize your needs and meet halfway on things like minor repairs, you may be able to save money and prevent a bidding war.
Summer home buying is popular for many reasons, but the competition can also make the process more stressful. By following these recommendations, you can target your search, ensure the time that you need for moving, stay on top of the game, and make yourself a great candidate for the home of your dreams.