Time to Win or NOT Go Home...

In today's market there can be nothing more frustrating than looking to purchase your first home, and not being able to through no fault of your own! In the hectic and competitive market of Northern Virginia, buyers are seeing this very thing happening regularly. There are more buyers than actual inventory. This is causes multiple offers, higher prices and homes selling in the blink of an eye!

In a seller's market buyers need to be ready to act fast and compete for what they want. Here are four  strategies that I recommend for would-be buyers in today's market -

1. Work with a local agent.
An agent understands the complexities of the market and has a specific strategy for not only finding you a home but winning it! They should be thinking outside the norm such as calling the listing agent to find out how to structure the deal to be a win-win, submitting the offer in person (when possible), creating a cover page telling your specific story to personalize the offer and explaining the options to setting your offer apart from the others. Agents want to work with other well-known, well respected agents who are in production. 

2.  Don't use normal search methods to find that elusive home in the market. 
If you see a neighborhood you like, then you should let your agent know and they should proactively go into the subdivision and find it! The 12:45 Team believes that just because there's not a for sale sign in the front yard doesn't mean it's not for sale. Keep your eyes open for homes that are being sold by owners and tell your agent. They can contact the seller and represent you and your interests, often times out negotiating them to your advantage.

3. Get pre-approved by a local mortgage loan officer. 
Ever heard the phase, "The early bird get's the worm?" Well that's true in today's market with so much competition. When a seller is faced with multiple offers, having that pre-approval gives the seller the confidence they need in you to accept your offer. It also gives you the confidence knowing that every house you and your agent see are fully available to you based on your financial picture. Working with a credible, local lender to be pre-approved will also uncover issues with your credit before you get into a position where you miss out on a home. These letters are often good for 90 days which with a good agent is more than enough time to find that perfect home.

4. Finally, act fast! 
If a home comes on the market in the beginning of the week, rest assured if it's a nice home it won't be there by the weekend. It's not out of the norm for a new home to have multiple offers on it before it even gets to the open house. A good agent is going to negotiate to have that offer accepted BEFORE the open house to avoid any further competition. Just because there's an open house scheduled, doesn't mean it will happen or if it does, it could simply be to find buyers like you who are looking for a credible agent to get the job done!

The process of finding a home in a seller's market is no easy task. If you're not prepared for these situations or don't have an agent representing you then you could be left out to dry when it comes to finding a home. Be flexible with your schedule, be prepared to make an offer on the first day, have your pre-approval done and make sure that the agent and team you're working with is ready, willing and able to get the job done in a moment's notice.

Give the 12:45 Team a call at 571-494-1245 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation if you need to buy, sell or invest in real estate!

Article by:
Phillip Simon
 KWCP Agent & Real Estate Consultant