Tips for Buying a Home in Today’s Crazy Market

Purchasing a new home should be grounds for celebration. But in a crazy housing market like this one, it’s hard to get excited. Demand is high, and supply is low. Bidding wars are infuriating, and hopes are crushed when the competition outbids by a large margin. Some would say it’s time to lose hope and throw in the towel. We would say that’s not the right answer. Instead, adopt these home buying tips going forward.

Start With the Right Real Estate Agent

The #1 thing you need in a hot real estate market like this is a competent, experienced Realtor by your side. You want someone who will alert you of listings that align with your wants and needs as soon as they hit the market. And you want someone who knows how to make your offer stand out. When selecting a Realtor, don’t be afraid to look up reviews online and ask around for referrals. The best of the best is what you need to get you where you want to be.

And, don’t forget: real estate agents have access to the entire MLS (multiple listing service) database, which means they have the most up-to-date listing information and may see available properties that Zillow and similar sites don’t show.

Be the First to Score a Tour

Proactivity will get you far in today’s market. Be the first to view a home as soon as it’s listed. If that means rearranging your schedule so you’re there on opening weekend, so be it. The sooner you get in, the sooner your agent can do their job of gathering the appropriate information so that you can decide if the spot is bid-worthy.

Don’t Go In With Outrageous Expectations

There is no such thing as the “perfect” home, which means you have to be willing to compromise. This doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards; it just means you have to be flexible. Think about what’s most important to you: Is it a good neighborhood for the kids? Is having more than one bathroom a necessity? Do additional bedrooms pique your interest in growing your family or having a home office? Jot down what you can’t give up and make your moves from there. Sometimes it’s worth giving up the white picket fence dream (especially when you can install that yourself after closing).

Consider Off-Market Homes

Just because it’s not on Zillow doesn’t mean it’s not available. If there’s a home you’ve been eying, call your real estate agent and see if they can contact the owners. The worst you can get after you make an offer is a “no,” but at least you’ll know.

Have Your Financing in Order

As a buyer in this crazy housing market, you need to be prepared to make quick moves. One of the first steps is securing all your lender necessities, like a commitment letter. For some, a pre-approval may be enough. But for others, being further in the financing wheelhouse may win you extra brownie points.

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