Home shoppers are increasingly facing steep competition for the limited number of homes for sale in Snohomish County's competitive housing market.
Attempting to purchase a house in a competitive housing market can make the already complex process of buying a home even more overwhelming,” the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) notes in a recent release.
Here are five suggestions to help you prevail in today’s competitive housing market:
1. Stick to a Budget
Get preapproved by one or more lenders to ensure eligibility. Be sure to also take into account extra costs of homeownership, such as taxes, utilities, and insurance. “When listings are scarce, bidding wars can drive up prices, so buyers must be prepared to walk away if the asking price surpasses their budget,” according to NAR.
2. Identify Home Wants vs Home Needs
You may need to compromise on your wish list when competition is tight. For example, you may have to compromise on amenities like stainless appliances or hardwood flooring, which can always be added later. “However, if you want to be in a specific school district or have a decent-sized backyard, those cannot be addressed later and must be taken into account during the house hunting process,” according to NAR’s tip sheet for buyers.
3. Make Decisions Quickly
Homes rarely stay on the market long in a seller’s market. As a buyer, you should not hesitate when you find a house that matches your needs within your budget. Make sure you have a responsive and proactive Realtor who will help you get your offer submitted quickly.
4. Make Bids Competitive
A low offer as a starting bid won’t likely work in a seller’s market. You will need to be ready to put forward your highest offer from the beginning or you may lose the home. In multiple bidding situations, the highest offer doesn’t always win either. But the bid with the fewest contingencies often becomes the most attractive to sellers. “Removing restrictions related to the sale of a current home and being flexible with things like the move-in date can make a bid stand out to a seller,” NAR notes. However, I recommend that you always have a home inspection even if it's only to make sure there aren't any major issues with the home.
5. Find a Realtor®
Real estate pros are familiar with the areas and neighborhoods in the local areas. “They can give buyers the competitive advantage needed in a tight market,” NAR states. A real estate agent who is proactive, can act quickly, and communicates well is especially important in a competitive housing market.