Buyers Get Ready
The inventory of homes for sale is at an all time low. It has been reported nationally that the inventory of properties for sale in rural areas has seen a 44% drop compared to previous years. We normally see low inventory during the winter months but never like this. The combination of the winter season, recent spike in COVID and lack of homes for sellers to relocate to makes this year even worse.
Buyers need to be even more prepared than ever. Spring will be here soon and I anticipate an influx of new listings hitting the market.
Here are a few tips to help you get ready:
1). Pre-Qualification - If you are getting a mortgage make sure your pre-qualification is current and from a local lender. If there are multiple offers, a seller will feel more comfortable working with a buyer who is getting their mortgage through a local lender compared to one from afar.
2). Paying Cash - You will need to have proof of funds available that needs to accompany an offer. I suggest to put whatever amount you have to buy a home in a separate account so you are not sharing your entire portfolio. When you submit a copy make sure you cover up your account numbers.
3). Gift Money - If you have a friend or family member gifting you cash to either purchase a home outright or with the down payment, make sure you have proper documentation to support this.
4). Write a Letter to the Seller - Selling a home can be very emotional for the homeowner. I suggest to write them a personal letter explaining why you love their home. When a seller reviews the offers, sometimes a letter will help them make the final decision as to which one they feel comfortable accepting.
5) Multiple Offers - When preparing your Offer to Purchase, I suggest you submit your best offer, as you may not get a second chance to change it. I recently had a situation where the listing agent told me and my buyer that we would be informed if another offer came in and that agent failed to let us know. You also need to know that the seller makes the final decision as to how multiple offers will be handled. Sometimes they will want to go highest and best but sometimes they will just accept an offer and you will not have another chance. This is a complicated process and your agent will advise the best way to proceed.
6). Take your Time - I strongly recommend taking your time to find the right home. Don’t buy out of fear that you will not find another place. You are buying during a time when the prices are inflated, you want to make sure this home will be one you will enjoy for many years to come. There are always fluctuations in market values and when you buy at the height of a market, most likely, your home could drop in value in a few years. If you plan on remaining at the premises for a long period of time then these fluctuations don’t matter.
If you have any additional questions about buying a home feel free to contact Wanda at 413-768-9838 or send email. She will be happy to answer any questions to help you get started in the right direction.