Q: How Should Buyers Navigate This Market?
Here’s what homebuyers should know when approaching this Seattle market.
The home buying process is more than just scrolling online sites, scheduling a showing or two, and then frantically submitting the highest priced offer you’re comfortable with writing. To be successful, buyers will need to follow these four important tips:
1. Meet with your agent. Discuss your wants, needs, and a strategy for securing the right home. Your agent should walk you through each critical task that needs to be completed before you can start your home search in earnest. You need to know how much cash you’re able to provide for the down payment, earnest money deposit, and closing costs, and your agent should explain when and how those amounts are paid.
2. Obtain pre-approval. Get in touch with a local lender who can get you pre-approved for a mortgage that fits your monthly payment limits. This step will save you time by letting you know the maximum price point for which you should be searching. It will also help the eventual offer you make on a home feel much stronger in the eyes of the seller because there’s added assurance that your financing is sound.
3. Understand the pros and cons of waiving contingencies. Waiving the inspection, appraisal, or financing contingencies is a strategic way to make your offer much stronger, but doing so can possibly cause problems. For example, if a pre-inspection hasn’t been conducted on the home, you’re not 100% positive your mortgage financing will come through, or if you’re not in a financial position to pay cash out of pocket for the difference between a low appraisal and your offer amount, tread more carefully; know the risks.
4. Look for homes that have been active for more than two weeks. In a hot market like ours, multiple-offer situations are to be expected in the first week of a home going live on the market, especially if it’s priced correctly or underpriced. Homes that have been active beyond this threshold will have much less competition, and their sellers will likely be considering price drops or more willing to negotiate closing costs and possible repairs.
If you’d like more guidance on how to navigate this market as a homebuyer, please give us a call. We’re here to help in any way we can and look forward to hearing from you!