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Buying in a Seller’s Market

CBHPWSignThe Triangle real estate market is in a unique state. While the Triangle Multiple Listing Services has collected data demonstrating a 5 percent increase in new listings in the first quarter of 2016 as compared to the same period last year, there simply aren’t enough houses on the market to satisfy buyer demand. Homes that list become hot commodities and sell in record time. What can we say? People want to live in our accolade-laden Triangle cities and towns.

A recent News & Observer article reviewed the low area inventory and the effect it has had on homebuyers reporting, “While demand is healthy and home prices have been rising about 5 percent annually, Triangle homeowners remain largely unwilling to put their properties on the market. The number of existing homes for sale has fallen 25 percent over the past year and is down 55 percent over the past four years.”

Yes, prospective homebuyers, we are in a seller’s market. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t find the special home you seek. You may just need to have a better strategy in place to score it.

Here are some helpful tips for how you can put your best foot forward to gain advantage over other buyers.

Know Before You Go
Before you start your house hunt, do research to determine what Triangle areas and neighborhoods interest you. Drive around those neighborhoods to get a feel for what they are like day and night. Take a look at the homes for sale and those that have recently sold in the areas you like to get an idea of pricing for the type of home you want.

Firm Up Financing
Do yourself a favor and get pre-approved for a mortgage to show a seller you’re in good financial standing and truly able to purchase their home. It will be key to work with a reputable lender who can close loans quickly and meet set deadlines. A pre-approval letter is a must when you submit an offer that may be in competition with others.

Hire An Agent
It is important for you to hire a professional real estate agent, especially in a hot real estate market like the Triangle. A real estate agent will often hear about listings before they hit the market and may be able to ensure you are one of first buyers through the door. Your agent will also be able to help you make a stronger, more compelling offer by providing insight into what sellers are seeking.

Make the Most of a Showing
You may only have one chance to tour a home before you decide to submit an offer. Consider making a list of your must-have, non-negotiable items and those that you can compromise on before stepping through the front door. This checklist will enable you to quickly know if a house has the items you really want in your next home and may help you to feel more comfortable with making a quick decision to pass on it or try to buy it.

Don’t Delay
Buyers don’t have the luxury of hemming and hawing over a home in a seller’s market—they must act quickly to make an offer. Work with your agent to prepare a strong offer that will interest a seller. This market climate dictates that there may be little negotiating room and you will want to be prepared with a fair and solid purchase price. Also, consider offering a quick closing with few contingencies.

Keep Your Head Up
Do your best to remain patient and positive throughout your house-hunting journey. Be sure to stick with your budget and know that you can walk away if a house price goes too high. Yes, there is a chance you may lose out on a home you really like, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the next.

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