By: Dan Kelly
The housing market is constantly changing and that includes the amount of inventory available for purchase at any given time. Although there has been a lot of activity so far in 2017, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that there are seemingly fewer desirable homes on the market with each passing month. This is not only a trend that is affecting us locally, it’s a national trend as well. While the current state of the housing market may not seem ideal for buyers, The Kelly Team at Envoy Mortgage is here to help. The following tips are designed to help you to improve your chances of success while housing inventory remains low.
Get Underwriting Pre-Approved
Meeting with a Loan Officer should always be one of your first steps when you decide to purchase a home. While getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is a traditional route taken by most homebuyers, it is important to understand that the Loan Officer, not the Underwriter, issues a “pre-qualification letter.” This means that the endorsement is only as accurate or as strong as the person who issued it. By contrast, a “pre-approval letter” can only be issued when your loan application has been fully reviewed by an actual Underwriter and approved by a Lender. In the eyes of a potential seller, getting the endorsement of an Underwriter is significant and can set you apart from other applicants. In addition, when you go straight to the “pre-approval,” you can drastically cut down on the amount of processing time and documents needed to clear your loan to close. This not only makes the process easier for you, it can also enable a quicker settlement, which may help you further differentiate yourself as a potential buyer. Our team is here to help you at this step of the purchasing process by providing you with loan options for your new home.
Determine Your All-In and Must-Haves
A good recommendation is to establish your maximum purchase price from the beginning, especially when you are in a competitive or multi-offer negotiation. Getting on the same page with your Purchase Team (Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer) up front will help you make clear and decisive decisions during the negotiations, which will result in you feeling more at ease throughout the process. In addition to price, decide on a list of your must-haves when it comes to your potential new home. While it would be ideal to find a home with many of the items on your wish list, having a “can’t live without” list will help you avoid overpaying for a house that ultimately does not suit your needs when the competition becomes fierce.
Only Hire a Knowledgeable Agent
A good Agent is critical, even in an ideal buyer’s market. So, in today’s housing market, a professional and knowledgeable Realtor becomes invaluable as desirable homes are selling in a matter of days. Having an expert by your side increases your chances of a successful negotiation for a variety of reasons. A well-connected agent will not only know current market activity, he or she will be aware of what is about to hit the market as well. This gives you a chance to preview homes prior to the public, which can potentially limit your competition. A supportive agent will ensure you stay focused on the ideal homes based on your needs, wants, and qualifications, and more importantly, he or she will help you eliminate homes that are not ideal. Finally, an experienced Agent will be your advocate during the entire negotiation process, as they try to ensure you stand out among the competition. We partner with many exceptional Agents who can help you in your search and who will work closely with our team to ensure that the process is seamless.
Be Flexible and Timely
While there remains a limited supply of houses on the market, timing can be the most important factor when determining your success. Although planning to purchase a home can be stressful, dedicating time to preparation can make things more manageable. Once you start your search, it is important to understand that you need to be flexible and potentially act quickly. For example, you could be required to change plans at a moment’s notice to go see a property that just hit the market. This can certainly become exhausting, but it’s important to remember that if you like the home, it’s reasonable to think others will as well. Being persistent and timely in your efforts can be very beneficial in the search for the right home.
Don’t let the lack of inventory scare you away from finding the right home. Follow the tips above and connect with our team to help you along the way. Contact us to learn more about our loan options and benefit from our vast network of contacts as you begin the home-buying journey.