What You Need to Know About Buying a Home This Spring
Some real estate market watchers are calling the spring 2018 home buying season the most competitive since the great recession. Whether you’re thinking of buying a home this spring, or you’re a real estate agent preparing for the spring rush, here’s what you need to know to survive.
Spring 2018 Will Be Extremely Competitive for Buyers
A number of market factors are creating a competitive environment:
- The number of homes for sale is low, meaning that buyers will be competing for the available homes
- Home prices are appreciating
- Mortgage rates are rising
As a result, homebuyers and buyer agents need to get prepared for a successful home search.
Buyers Will Need Good Representation
Buyers should look for a professional and knowledgeable real estate agent to assist them. Things will be moving very fast this spring, making it important for a buyer to hear from their agent immediately when homes they may be interested in enter the market. In addition, they’ll need an agent who can help them act quickly to see the home and generate an offer if the home is a good fit.
Buyers Will Need Good Credit
Sellers won’t need to entertain offers from buyers with shaky credit. They know the odds are much higher that a deal will fall through if the buyer has credit issues. Buyers need to make sure their finances are in good condition before starting their search. That means cleaning up any discrepancies on credit reports, and working with a mortgage lender to obtain a pre-approval for a mortgage.
Buyers May Need a Bigger Down Payment
With home prices increasing and mortgage rates inching up, buyers may need to put more money down to get the home they want at a monthly payment they can afford. However, buyers should also realize that according to the National Organization of REALTORS®, the old standard of putting 20 percent down isn’t a standard anymore. Buyers should plan their down payment based on their own financial situation.
Homes Will Typically Sell At or Above List Price
Many buyers love to try to get a great deal on the house of their dreams. This spring, trying to get a good deal won’t be a good strategy if a homebuyer really wants to buy a home. Buyers and agents should expect to go in strong with their first offer, since many homes will have multiple offers. They also need to be prepared to see homes selling above the list price.
Buying a home this spring isn’t a bad idea, but both homebuyers and agents need to be prepared for the competitive market.