How to Compete as a Buyer

Bonnie Sterling April 7, 2021

How to Compete as a Buyer

Today’s real estate market is competitive for buyers. We’re currently experiencing a shortage of houses for sale. This coupled with high demand means that buyers may face many obstacles when making an offer on a home. As a buyer, it’s so important to be as prepared as possible when you’re ready to start your home search. Here’s what you need to do to get yourself ready.

Know what you need and want

In today’s real estate market, it is essential that you know what you’re looking for in a home. After all, how can you find what you want if you don’t know what you want? Before you begin your home search in earnest, get clear about what you need and what you want. Put your needs first. These could include certain neighborhoods, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, or other home features that would be deal-breakers for you. You should also consider what you want, such as room for a backyard pool or a finished basement. While these items would be nice to have, they aren’t necessarily deal-breakers. Make a list of your needs and wants so that you can compare houses during your search.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Before you begin looking at homes, get pre-approved for a mortgage. You cannot be competitive in today’s market if you aren’t pre-approved for a mortgage (unless, of course, you’re going to pay all cash). Getting pre-approved for a mortgage tells a seller that you are a serious buyer. It is entirely possible that other buyers will be putting in offers for the same house as you. Your offer will not be considered unless you’re pre-approved.

Keep your emotions in check

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you will ever make. It’s important to think of it as a business deal. Yes, you are buying a home that will become the center of your family life. You will make many memories and celebrate many milestones in this house. But don’t get swept up into your emotions. Try to maintain a sense of detachment so that you can make sound decisions. If you’re struggling to maintain an emotional distance, then lean on your agent for help.

Prepare for a bidding war

As we said above, there aren’t enough homes for sale in today’s market to keep up with demand. The home you love will also be the object of affection for other buyers, too. Your offer will probably not be the only offer a seller receives. You should mentally prepare yourself for a bidding war when you put in an offer. Understand how the home buying process works so you know how you can sweeten your deal. And be clear about your budget. You need to know how much house you can afford so that you don’t overextend yourself.

Work with an expert

Finally, one of the best ways to be competitive in today’s market is to work with an expert real estate agent. Your agent should be extremely knowledgeable about your local market so they can advise you through every step of the process. The process of making an offer can move quickly, and having a pro on your side can help ease the stress.

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