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Tips for Buying During This Pandemic

With interest rates at a historic low, now could be a good time for you to take the plunge and buy a house! With high buyer demand and low housing inventory, there’s a lot of competition out there, though! Here are some tips to help you succeed in finding and buying the best home for your best life right now:

Get preapproved for a home loan right away! We recommend this as the first step in a usual housing market too, but it’s especially important to be preapproved before you start looking for a house right now. With COVI D-19 concerns, many sellers right now want to know that anyone whom they allow to see their property in person is actually able to buy a house in that price range and is serious enough about buying to have started the first steps. Some sellers aren’t even allowing potential buyers to view their properties without sending proof of preapproval with their showing request.

Tell us as soon as you’re interested in seeing a property. In this strong seller’s market, most sellers are receiving multiple offers in their first few days of showings. Realtors can’t hold open houses right now, and it’s a hassle for sellers to keep a house clean to COVID-19 standards for very long and then stay away during those showings for very many days when they already have plenty of offers to choose from. This means it’s super important that we get you in to see houses you are interested in as soon as possible so you have the best chance of making an offer in time if you end up loving the house! Also, please note that some sellers require 24 hours notice for showings, and available time slots for others sometimes fill up well in advance. We want you to have the best chance of seeing the houses you love, so please let us know right away when you see something that catches your eye!

Make your best offer. Since sellers right now typically have a lot of offers to choose from, this is the time to make the very best offer you are comfortable making upfront instead of holding out for a good deal or the opportunity to make your offer better after receiving a counter offer. If you love a house you’ve seen, we recommend offering the highest price you are able and willing to pay before letting someone else get the house instead. That way if the seller takes another offer, you won’t be wondering if it might have gone differently if you had made a better offer. You can move forward with the peace that you gave it your best shot and it just wasn’t the right deal for you if it didn’t work out.

Capitalize on other ways to make your offer better. You can also make your offer better in other ways besides raising your offer price. If you have some extra cash on hand, you can offer to pay a certain amount of money above the appraised value if the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed-upon purchase price. This is attractive to sellers because it lessens their risk of the deal possibly falling apart if the appraisal comes in lower than expected, so it gives them more confidence in your love for the property and your capacity to keep the deal together.

We can also propose shorter timelines for releasing your contingencies (investigation, appraisal, and loan contingencies), which shows your seriousness in buying the property and gives the seller the confidence sooner that the sale will, in fact, close as expected.

Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while. The housing market is so competitive right now that some of our well-qualified buyers who are making really great offers still keep getting beat out by other buyers on the houses they see and love. This can get discouraging and disappointing very quickly! It’s important to start the process off knowing that it might take a while to find the right house and get your offer accepted. But we’re confident that if you keep looking at houses that meet your search criteria for your ideal new house, keep making aggressive offers, and keep faith in the process, we’ll eventually find and open escrow on the perfect new house for you!

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