Spring is finally here in Michigan, kicking off a busy real estate season for both buyers and sellers.
Last year, buyers shopped for homes in a tight housing market with low inventory. And so far, real estate experts are not predicting a huge shift to favor the buyer in 2019. So how can a buyer still find the right home while competing in a seller’s market?
Make Sure You Are Pre-Approved
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be the first step in your home buyer journey. Without a letter of pre-approval, you won’t know exactly what you can afford or what neighborhoods to start searching in. It can be heartbreaking to find the home of your dreams only to learn later that you are not approved.
Not only does a letter of pre-approval give you more confidence as a buyer, it gives confidence to the seller as they know you are serious about their property and have already been approved for a mortgage. This confidence from the seller is crucial when competing with multiple buyers.
Be Ready to Move Quickly
Due to the low inventory of homes, you will want to be prepared to make decisions quickly.
This does not mean to make rash decisions with one of the most important investments you will make. But be mindful that you may not have as much time or room for negotiation in this competitive market.
If you find a home that meets your needs and is in the perfect neighborhood, don’t take too long to make an offer. It probably won’t be on the market for long and you risk losing that opportunity altogether.
Hire a Michigan Real Estate Agent
Buying or selling a home should not be a DIY project, even for the most eager do-it-yourselfer.
It’s important to have an experienced real estate agent advocating for you and helping you negotiate with the seller. Realtors will be familiar with the local communities in Michigan and can help you find the right home even when inventory is low. They may also have access to expired or withdrawn listings that you may not even be aware of.
When it comes to making a major decision like buying a home, there is simply no substitute for the experience a real estate agent can provide.
Be Flexible and Willing to Compromise
Perhaps you have your heart set on one or two different neighborhoods. Is it possible to search slightly outside of those areas? Instead of forgoing luxury features or appliances, you may find that you get more house for your home simply by looking one zip code away.
If location is the top of your needs list, for example, you need to be in a specific school district, can you compromise on other features? If a certain school district is the utmost importance to you, can you make home improvements later?
The bottom line is to prepare to be flexible in a seller’s market. Carefully consider your wants vs needs and what is most important to you and your family. Then determine where you are willing to compromise.
Looking for an Experienced Michigan Real Estate Agent?
Ready to get into the real estate market this Spring? This is not a task to navigate on your own – especially in a seller’s market. Working with an experienced realtor is crucial to give you the competitive edge needed in this tight housing market.
Tracy Wick has 25 years as a real estate consultant and client advocate offering a full spectrum of services to buyers and sellers. For more information, call: 248.912.7407.