Prom, finals, and 90 degree days.....yep- Summer is right around the corner! Savvy homeowners know that summertime usually brings out the home buyers and yields better returns and faster sales for a homeowner. Our summer home sales season has started early, and stronger than we've seen in years! If you're considering selling your home, now is a great time to do that! In San Diego County, we are experiencing multiple offers on traditional sale listings and some are selling for over the asking price within only a few days of hitting the market.
As a home buyer, you need to be prepared for this quickly shifting market so that you can purchase a home without getting frustrated or discouraged. Here's a few tips for your home buying success:
1. Get pre-approved before starting your home search. There is nothing more harmful to a home buyer's success than to be looking at homes that are more expensive than you can actually afford. It is very difficult to be pleased with the homes in your price range after you've been looking at homes in better condition, larger, or more amenities than you can actually afford. Also, a pre-approved buyer is a stronger, more attractive buyer than an offer without a pre-approval letter.
2. Make your highest and best offer immediately. It is a common theory among many new home buyers that they should make an offer anticipating negotiating with the seller. I have had many clients try to analyze the strategy ahead of time- "we'll offer 'x', then they'll come down from their asking price to 'y' and we'll come up a little to meet in the middle of 'x' and 'y' and offer 'z'." When the market was down, and especially when it is near dead, banks were the primary sellers and they expected these low-ball offers and would counter offer with a boiler plate "Highest and Best" form for the buyer to complete. In this changing, fast-paced market of primarily traditional sales, buyers many times are not given the chance to negotiate to a middle ground offer. If you really want to buy the property, then you need to make your best offer right out of the gate. If the seller comes back and asks for a "Highest and Best", then the buyer can simply stand their ground with their initial offer, knowing they put it all on the table from the beginning rather than losing the property when they were actually willing to pay more than they offered for the property.
3. Make buying a home a priority. The market is heating up quickly and homes in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties are selling with multiple offers within hours of hitting the market. When you decide you are ready to buy a home, plan to be available to look at homes immediately if a new listing that fits your parameters hits the market. Have your agent set an automatic search for your parameters on the MLS so that you and your agent are notified immediately when a listing that you might like is on the market. It is unfortunate when I've had clients postpone seeing a new listing for a few days only to have it sell within that same time period.
4. Don't give up. It is common for home buyers in a traditional market to make offers on multiple homes before they get an accepted offer. Having offers rejected is a learning process for some, and a source of frustration for others. The one consolation I give to all of my home buyer clients is that in my 15 years of real estate sales, I have NEVER had a home buyer settle for a home purchase and regret having "lost" a home they didn't get an accepted offer on. Never. Every time I have had a buyer get their offer rejected on one home, they always have been pleased later that they didn't get that offer accepted because they love the home they did purchase so much better.
Hopefully these few tips will make your home buying process more successful in this rapidly changing real estate market!