Having been a Realtor representing buyers for almost 20 years, I’ve experienced all kinds of markets. It was a seller’s market in the early 1990s when we were standing in line to get our name in the lottery to purchase from a new house developer. By the late ‘90s, we were in a buyer’s market. There were so many houses for sale that sellers were begging for offers. Today’s market is neither. There is a big learning curve for anyone buying a home today. Here are some things you need to know if you want to buy a house now:
1) Don’t rely on the Zestimate. It’s fun to shop online and see pictures of houses sale. Sites like Zillow and Trulia provide a general idea of what’s happening in your neighborhood. Often their information is out of date or completely wrong. You need a Realtor to help you sort through that information.
2) Many houses are in poor condition. If the listing is a short sale or foreclosure, the former owners probably didn’t care much about maintaining the home before they left. Some were downright angry at their situation and did some real damage. Try to look past the cosmetics and see the potential. Be concerned only with the things you cannot change about the property.
3) There will be competition. It’s NOT a buyers market. There are a bunch of buyers out there competing for the same houses. Trust your real estate agent when she tells you to give your highest and best offer. You may not get a second chance. Be prepared to make offers on several different properties before you get a house.
4) Lenders are demanding: If you haven’t bought a house in a while, you may be shocked at what your lender will expect from you during the approval process. Of course they want proof of income and a good credit history. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to explain every single deposit on your bank statement. Recently my clients were asked to provide a letter of explanation about WHY they want to move. Isn’t that getting a little personal?
5) You need a Buyers Agent. You need an experienced realestate agent you trust to help you navigate today’s changing real estate market. A good buyers agent will stick with you through the learning curve and be willing to write offers until you’ve found the right property. That’s me! Contact Nancy Irwin, Realty Executives, 760-533-1119