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Tips For Buying a Home in 2021

2021 has proven to be one of the most dramatic seller’s real estate markets in recent history. Low interest rates have lured potential buyers to the market and available properties are harder to find. Even if a house just hits the market, chances are you won't be the only one making an offer if it's priced reasonably and in good condition. Being prepared with an experienced real estate agent, budget, and expectations will ensure that you can compete in this hot market.

These tips can help you come out on top.

Choose an experienced, responsive real estate agent.

From house-hunting to closing, a buyer's agent guides you through the entire process. An agent with an established reputation in the area you are looking in will be able to alert you to suitable properties as soon as they hit the market or even before. They will know the neighborhood, it's prices historically, and will be able to let you know if the house is a good fit for your needs. An expert agent will have the negotiating skills to help you make an offer that is competitive and fits your budget.

Get pre approved.

It’s imperative that you know exactly how much you have to work with for a mortgage before you get started looking at properties. This will let you know the price point to start your search but also how much you can bid over asking if needed. Time is of the essence and having your mortgage in order will make the process much smoother.

Bidding wars are to be expected.

Set a firm price that you are willing to spend. It’s tempting to feel the pressure of wanting to get a particular home, especially if the housing stock is low, but keep your eye on what is sustainable for you in the long run. Buying your “dream home” only to have overwhelming financial stress after will only lead to regret. It’s not unusual for buyers in the current market to write multiple offers before getting their home. Don’t get discouraged.

Be flexible. Be flexible. Be flexible.

  • Be willing to expand your search area, especially if you were targeting popular neighborhoods. You can get more bang for your buck as far as square footage and amenities if you are willing to look in other areas.
  • Accommodate the seller’s closing preferences. Maybe they need to stay in the home a few months longer to complete the school year? Or, they want a quick closing. You want your offer to meet their needs.
  • Remove contingencies. A contingency clause specifies that certain conditions must be met (such as financing or a home appraisal) before a real estate contract can be signed. By doing this, you tell the seller you are serious and ready to go forward with the transaction.
  • Know what is absolutely a must for you and what you can bend on. (Be prepared to bend more than you may like…) Being in a particular school district may outweigh having the guest bedroom. Keep your priority list short. In this market you most likely won’t get everything you desire but with your agent, you will be able to find the home that is sustainable for you and your family for the long term.
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