Being a Buyer in a Seller’s Market

 Erin - Sellers Market Blog - In Post Image

Looking for a house is an exciting time, it can also be a stressful time. If you are shopping for a home in a seller’s market, listings can be scarce and competition can be fierce. It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time homebuyer or shopping for your 4th home, shopping in a seller’s market can be a frustrating and disappointing experience. The good news is, there are things that you can do as a buyer that will prepare to be the strongest buyer you can be.

Having a strong, competitive offer is only one part of being a successful buyer in a competitive market. Below are some tips that will help you conquer the unforgiving landscape of a seller’s market.

  1. Save, save, save – Cash is your greatest asset when buying a home. Even if you choose to use financing that requires nothing down or a low-down payment amount, your savings will come in handy in off-setting concessions for closing costs. Your offer can be made stronger if you can cover your own closing costs. It also makes the offer more attractive as a concession can raise a purchase price and that can mean trouble when it comes time for the mortgage appraisal. Cash is king! The more you save the more you will be able to play in a competitive real estate market.
  2. Get financing in order before shopping – Speaking with a loan officer can help sort out finances and identify the right financing for you. It’s also expected that you are pre-qualified before beginning your home search and going on showings (open houses are the exception to this, they are open to everyone). Having a pre-qualification means your finances have been reviewed and you are ready to roll as soon as you find a home. It also helps set your budget; it stinks when you find the perfect house, only to find out that you can’t get a mortgage to purchase that home. Knowing your financial limits will help you narrow down your options in the market.

SIDE NOTE: There are many fantastic mortgage companies in the Capital Region with great products. I have worked with many of them and I have yet to come across one that I have had a bad experience with. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to give a shout-out to 2 awesome loan officers at HUNT Mortgage – not just because it is a HUNT affiliate company* or because they are my office colleagues, but they both rock at their jobs. Bob Tuttle & Pat O’Connor are great guys who have helped several of my clients purchase their homes. They bring an enormous amount of experience to the table which has only benefitted my clients, and myself. They take time to educate buyers and are wonderful communicators, making the process smooth and keeping everyone in the loop. Additionally, HUNT Mortgage is now providing a Pre-Purchase Commitment that commits to loan approval for a buyer with the only condition being a home passes the bank appraisal. That means a buyer can offer on a home and show their financing is ready to commit as soon as an appraisal is approved. A pre-purchase commitment, along with an attractive monetary offer, shows a seller that you are a serious buyer and want to own their home. It can make your offer stand out in a multiple offer situation as well.

Moving on…

  1. Be realistic on what your budget will buy you – If you find yourself in a seller’s it may limit your buying power for something that meets your needs. Even in a buyer’s market you may have to reduce wants ex) you get 2,000 square feet, 4 beds and 2 baths, but you will have to put in some elbow grease to make that diamond shine. If you are looking for a steal in a seller’s market chances are your low-ball deal might fall flat. Consider reviewing your wishlist and defining what your needs versus your wants are. You might also want to investigate some other areas or neighborhoods that can provide you with the same conveniences or atmosphere you are looking for at a more wallet-friendly price. At least you are widening your inventory pool giving you more options to consider.
  2. Be ready to write an offer – A market with lots of buyers and few listings can be a nightmare if you are one of those buyers. New listings may not last long before going pending. Heck! I had one receive multiple offers in less than 24 hours back in October (2017)! The market is not going to wait for you to make up your mind and there is a lot of truth to the realtor.com®  “Not You” commercials – the you may nail down the house, but look at all those not yous that lost out. Don’t be a not you.
  3. Brace for disappointment – It sucks to lose out on a house. As an agent, I hate it when my clients get beat, I truly feel the blow. It’s easy to get discouraged, but it happens and it can happen more than once. This includes buyers with above average budgets too. Remember to breathe when things get overwhelming. When you can’t even get past the finding a home phase it can be frustrating. Be prepared to face a loss when buying in a seller’s market, hopefully, your offer is accepted without a hitch, but you will be ready for the news if it doesn’t.
  4. Learn from your mistakes –So, your first offer situation didn’t go according to plan – what now? Talk with your agent; ask questions about what went wrong and what you should do next time. They are there to help guide you, good communication with your agent will only lead to success. Every offer is different because every home and buyer are different. Learn from each failed offer to better your next one.

No matter who the market favors, buying a home is an adventure. If you find yourself shopping in a market that favors sellers, be the strongest buyer you can, be prepared to fail, and learn from your mistakes. Surround yourself with a team that can guide you on your journey – your agent, your loan officer, and your attorney should all have your back through your purchase. Be prepared, be competitive, and be confident; you will find yourself a winner in a high-stress market and nab that perfect home!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in the Clifton Park, NY office. She is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS® . Erin enjoys working with buyers to find their perfect new home. If you are looking for an agent to help in your Capital Region home search, contact Erin, and check out her reviews on her website at www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

*HUNT Mortgage is an affiliate company of HUNT Real Estate ERA. There is no obligation to utilize the services of HUNT Mortgage in order to work with a HUNT Real Estate ERA salesperson. The opinion on the services of HUNT Mortgage and the mentioned loan officers are those of the writer and in no way imply any client is required to work with this lender.

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Spring Home Maintenance 101

Home Maintenance Blog

Spring has sprung! Longer days are here, warmer weather and sunshine. Even after a mild winter, by Northeast standards, it’s time to start those spring home upkeep projects.

After any winter, no matter how mild or harsh, you should check over your home’s exterior and address any damages that may have occurred over the cold winter months. Spring is also a great time to update curb appeal and give your home a face lift.

Suggested maintenance to-do’s:

  • Inspect your roof – make sure all shingles are in place and in good condition. Check for damage left from ice dams and correct those issues as they can cause major leaking. Also address mold or bacteria growth in shady spots.
  • Clean out your gutters – remove debris from gutters and downspouts to encourage proper drainage. Also address where the water exits the downspout and guide it away from the home.
  • Check caulk on windows and reseal any imperfections. This will help with heating and cooling efficiency; especially during the hot summer months when air conditioning is running.
  • Trim trees, bushes and shrubs – not only will your lawn look fresh and cleaned up, removing branches and stems near your home’s exterior will decrease the risk of damage.
  • Up your curb appeal – add new landscaping or refresh existing gardens with new flowering plants. Adding color to green space can really make a yard pop!
  • Take care of your deck and porches – reseal or paint wooden decks and porches to help protect them from the elements.
  • Paint it pretty – maintain the home’s exterior woodwork with a new coat of paint. If you have a wooden clapboard or shingled home consider giving it a real face lift with a whole new color scheme! Spring is a great time to change up the exterior of your home, so if you have been considering vinyl siding now is a great time to look into it.

Spring home maintenance is a great way to get out of the gloom of winter. By working on these projects you are maintaining the integrity of your home, giving your body the exercise it has missed all winter, and take in some wonderful fresh air. Plus by paying regular attention to these items you can save yourself a lot of money by preventing big problems. Being proactive can really pay off when you are a home owner!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

It’s Vacation Time! Will Your Home Be Safe While You Are Away?

black-and-white-sky-flying-holiday

It’s that time of year, when we all need a break from winter and going stir crazy in our homes, on vacation we go. With all of the preparations that are made to go on a vacation, it is easy to forget what you are leaving behind. Your home is your greatest asset. It holds all of your belongings, important documents, valuables and more. But it is truly the last thing you think about when you head out for great adventures.

So you may not want to go all out and hire a house sitter, or perhaps you have no one close you trust. If you own pets you may have no choice but to hire someone, unless they are traveling with you. Assuming you don’t want to have someone sit around your home for the duration of your trip, you leave your home exposed to unfortunate events.

Your home doesn’t have to be a fortress in order for you to leave to go on vacation, but it shouldn’t scream “lived in but currently vacant home” either. Below are some basic tips to help give you peace of mind while you are away.

  1. Make sure to lock all entries to your home – doors, windows, and any operable skylights.
  2. Remove or store any objects that may allow access to upper areas of your home like ladders.
  3. Outbuildings and garages should be secured as well. Many items we store in these areas are costly to replace.
  4. Use multiple timers for lights in your home. Set them at a variety of times, so if someone is watching your home they don’t pick up a scheduled pattern.
  5. Alert the post office and put a hold on mail. A build up of mail is a sure sign to a potential burglar that they have free reign to tour your home.
  6. Even if you don’t want a full time house sitter, see if someone you trust would stop by a few times during your absence; someone you know well and feel comfortable handing a key to. Chose wisely.
  7. If you have a safe that will fit them, place any valuables into it and lock it up. Just because you lock your doors doesn’t mean and intruder won’t get in. So keep your stuff safe.
  8. Install cameras. Many cameras these days are compatible with smartphone apps so you can see live what is happening in your home. Or place cameras to record, if someone does enter your home you have it all on video.
  9. Considering vacations are costly, you might not be able swing this, but have a security system installed. This way an automated system can notify you and the local police that a break in has occurred. It will also help monitor and report any incident of fire.
  10. Watch how much you are posting on social media. If you post to Facebook, tweet, or Instagram your every move, you may be sending out too much information to unwanted individuals. Check your security settings and know your friends list. Are these people you should be sharing your current out-of-town location to or should you hold off on posts until you get back?

Save yourself the heartache of a break-in and even worse the feeling of violation that comes with it. Be proactive in securing your home before taking any vacation. While you may not be able to do everything possible, at least you can feel comfortable that you did something.

Enjoy your stay!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com