If you’re a buyer in a hot housing market, you may have already lost out on several homes already. How can you get the upper hand? Here are five tips:
- Get preapproved by a lender. Sharing financial information your lender requests will get you preapproved. You’ll know the limits on how much home you can afford, how much money to put down, and what your interest rate will be. A preapproval letter will assure the seller that you’re ready to buy.
- Trust me. I know the market, can feed you new listings that fit your criteria, and has many contacts to learn about homes coming onto the market which you wouldn’t get to see otherwise.
- Make a realistic must-have list. Pick a neighborhood, house type and price range with a limited number of features. Be prepared to make compromises – smaller, fewer bedrooms or baths.
- Consider less-than-perfect homes. Buying the worst house on the best block is a proven strategy. A home that needs repairs and updates will sell at a discount to other homes. Bringing your home up to the neighborhood standards is a quick route to building equity.
- Buy under your means. If you get into a bidding war, you’ll need a little wiggle room so you can compete. Many homes will sell above list price, so it’s smart to keep your cool because you know you can go up if you need to.