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Being A Buyer In A Sellers Market
With homes moving in a days (hours in some cases), you may be asking yourself, "How DOES a buyer buy a home in this sellers market of low-inventory?". With Realtors competing to get to the new home listed like bachelorettes going for the final rose, it may seem impossible. Truly, there are lots of things to consider... moreso if you also have a home to sale "before" you buy. You may be afraid of listing your home only to find that you can't get what you want with your "next" home because of the multiple offers, right? Don't fret! There is a way to navigate this tangled process! In this market...the early bird gets the worm (with a strong offer, of course!). So when your Realtor mentions that "this home will be gone if you wait until tomorrow" they aren't being pushy...they are being realistic, and trying to get you the home that you want.
You may also want to sell your home in North Texas and realize that you may not want to pass the opportunity of a sellers market. You lavish the idea of getting top dollar for your home and having it under contract within a matter of days. You realize that it would be much easier to sell now if you have pets as you wouldn't have to have your home on the market for months on-end and deal with endless showings, crating animals (or leaving with them within only an hour's notice), picking up toys or stashing your own belongings to make the home look and feel pristine. You realize it's now or never if you want to take advantage of the opportunity...until FEAR hits you--the fear of selling your home too quickly and not being able to have a 2nd home to move into in time.
This can be a very scary experience-especially if you've never sold a home. Luckily, we as experienced Realtors know how to navigate this delicate web. While it can be a very scary experience for someone diving into the unknown, we deal with this intricacy every day and can easily help you find your way to your next white-picket-fence without being homeless in the process. :) A few years ago, we may have listed a home for our sellers, then waited patiently until the right "nibble" came along before we even began showing our sellers options for their next home. In this market, the ballgame has changed.
It's now very important to:
1) Do your homework. Allow your Realtor to go over market statistics to not only show you what your home can sell for, but likely how long it will be on the market. If the average date on the market is three days, then you will know that you better be prepared with options by beginning to look at options for your next home "before you even list your current home".
2) #1 being said, you will want to be proactive and find a lender whom you trust to make sure you are approved for both home loans or what your loan options are. Find out if you need to sell your first home before you buy your second. The "bridge-loan" that seemed to have vanished from a few years ago has even made a come-back. Find out if your loan-officer has this option. This prevents you from having to submit a "contingent" offer (which can make you look like the weaker candidate in a multiple-offer scenario that you are trying to win) if you have to sell one home before you can close on your next home.
3) Know that as a buyer, homes in most areas of North Texas are selling in a matter of days (or hours in some cases!)...especially if under the $250k sales price. This means that you may not get the first or second home that you offer on. This can be stressful for some buyers but know that making sure time-lines are met are part of our duty as your Realtor.4) Get your Realtor to send you listings of homes that you like a few months before you even list your home if unfamiliar with what you can get for your new price-range and features you want. Familiarize yourself with what's "out there" for what you want. This prevents the fear of listing your home and not being able to find something else that you like.
HOW DO YOU CONTROL THE TIME-LINE, YOU ASK YOURSELF?
Its easy (after you do it a few times a month ;-) Before you list your home, have your Realtor go over your comps and "average date on the market".
Then, discuss with your Realtor what you are looking for, for your "next" home and if the date on the market in your current neighborhood is 5 days, list your home and start shopping around. Go look at a few homes. You may come home to find a few offers on your current home :) If you find a home that you like that day, your Realtor will help you determine the timeline of closing, moving out, and how to negotiate the contract on your "next" home. Didn't find what you want on the first trip out? (no worries--most don't). In the summer, new homes hit the market every day (it's important to be on an automated listing-search so that you don't miss anything (especially when they are moving so quickly).
You can still accept an offer on your first home, and possibly negotiate a "longer-than normal" close-date...ie: 45-60 days opposed to 30 days. Make sure your Realtor asks the other Realtor how flexible the time-frame on their closing / moving in is. (Sometimes, the higher sales price is not necessarily the best offer for you...sometimes, it's the most flexible candidate). Luckily for you, in this market, you'll likely have a few choices between offers (on your current home). Between negotiation and a great little item called a "seller lease-back" (you close and fund on your current home, then stay in the home a few days after it's sold and "lease-back" the home from the new owner until you move to your 2nd home), all making for a smooth transaction and move). Sometimes your Realtor can negotiation a FREE lease-back (so always ask!).
The process may seem like a gamble and a bit scary, but remember...we do this every day and would be happy to guide you through the process.
I am always here for any questions that you may have.
Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty | 214.901.1341-Cell