With limited inventory and competitive price bidding wars galore, buying a home in today's red-hot market may feel like an episode of the Hunger Games. It's definitely competitive out there, but you can win if you prepare. Follow these tips to level up your home buying game and score the perfect home.
BE FINANCIALLY PREPARED
This is critical to home buying success in any market, but it's especially true in today's red-hot, real estate market.
- Have your credit in order. Your credit score is crucial to qualifying for a loan at a good rate so now's the time to check out your credit report and make sure all is in order. Be sure to check your report for errors or issues that could affect your score. Your One Nevada membership comes with free access to your credit score and report. Just log in to Digital Banking and choose ‘Credit Score'.
- Get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved is one of the most important, first steps you can take — especially in today's market. Most homes for sale are receiving multiple offers. Including your pre-approval letter with your offer signals the seller that you're ready to buy and have already secured financing.
- Get real about what you can afford. Getting pre-approved may help you understand the amount you can finance, but here's the reality, that doesn't mean that's the amount you can actually afford. On top of your monthly loan payment, be sure to add ongoing costs such as maintenance, utilities, landscaping, HOA dues, etc., to determine how much you can really fit into your monthly budget.
- Make fair bids. If you find a home you love, avoid lowballing the offer. In this market, make a fair offer, but be prepared that you may need to bid above the asking price to stand out from the crowd. That said, a reasonable offer with no contingencies or demands might get you just as much attention. If the seller doesn't have to replace the roof or install a deck to sell the home, your fair bid might be the one chosen.
BE READY TO ACT
Nevada is in a Sellers' Market right now, which simply means there are more buyers than there are sellers. That house you've got your eye on likely has several other admirers too. Be ready to act at the spur of the moment by following these tips:
- Build your dream team. Assemble a team of professionals that you can work with during the home buying process. We recommend a:
- LENDER OR LOAN OFFICER that makes you comfortable, is easy to talk to about money, and helps you understand what to expect throughout the process.
- REAL ESTATE AGENT you trust to act on your behalf, who knows the area where you want to buy a home, and who has a network of trusted home inspectors to recommend.
- TRUSTED ADVISOR, PARTNER, OR FRIEND who you can consult with, vent to when things get bumpy, and celebrate with once you move in.
- Set the rules of engagement in advance. Clearly define what you authorize your realtor to do on your behalf. In addition, ensure your team knows how to get ahold of you at all times and vice versa. In this red-hot market, we encourage you to react quickly but not reactively. Develop your team's game plan in advance and be prepared to execute it.
BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE
Your realtor should definitely be your advocate throughout the entire process. However, in this environment, up your game by being your own advocate and do the following:
- Browse on your own. Your realtor should scour the market for you, but you can do your own browsing too. Search online listings and utilize virtual tours. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the market and the area(s) in which you're interested. A quick Google search will help you research pricing trends, study school reports, and explore neighborhood crime rates.
- Tell your story. Home is where the heart is, so sending a heart-felt, personal letter with your offer might help you win in a competing offer situation. Many buyers in competitive bidding situations include a personal letter with their offer explaining why they want to buy the particular home.
- Be Mentally Prepared. Let's be real. You're likely going to get frustrated at least once throughout the process, you may have to write several offers, and you'll likely be denied a few times. Buying a home in this environment might have a few bumps, but try to stay optimistic. You'll find the right deal, and when you do, you and your team will be prepared to make a strong offer and make that house your home.