Competition for the opportunity to buy a home in West Michigan has escalated dramatically within the past 24 months. Bidding wars are now the new normal. Potential home buyers may find themselves engaging what may feel like a Reality Show competition when they enter into the ring to bid on a fresh or particularly enticing entry into the housing market place.
In the current real estate arena, knowledge, street smarts and a good team makes a big difference! Here are some tips to up your ‘winning game’. Study these details gleaned from over two decades of front line service by an experienced real estate broker to give yourself the edge as you mount your strategy in obtaining the home of your dreams!
1. Be Market Ready. Get Your Financing up to Snuff!
The current (January – February 2017) housing inventory in West Michigan according to the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS is 1.4 months of supply. To put that in days – roughly 42 days of housing stock and the market depletes. IF your’re a seller on the other hand, this means it will take roughly 75 days to list, market, and close your home sale provided you’re within the general norms of the area with regards to price and presentation.
Given these stats, REALTORS have taken to pleading for listings on social media as there are too many buyers looking for a limited supply of homes. If you’re serious about getting a home, get Pre-approved now. Submit to the often grueling process of having all your financial details examined by an experienced loan officer which include verification of your credit, employment history, assets and liabilities. Get your money together too! The more cash you have (which must be verifiable aka being in the bank long enough to verify that you obtained it legally) the better prepared you will be to win in the days ahead.
2. Choose Your REALTOR carefully.
Experience matters when choosing a professional REALTOR to represent you. But so does temperament and the ability to persevere. There is so much strangeness in today’s marketplace. People are bidding for homes as though they are on the gaming floor in Vegas! And when the high disperses, many are re-thinking what they just paid for a home! It can become a vicious cycle, which is best avoided rather than trying to detangle. A good REALTOR by your side will advise and fight for you. In fact, the reputation of a good REALTOR can be powerful edge when a Seller is trying to determine which offer is ‘real’ and which one may be likely to fake out after a month or less leaving them devoid of a truly viable offer to purchase their home.
3. Circle the Market like a Hawk!
At Audu Real Estate, we provide Homebuyers with a private shopping portal that shoots out instant notifications when new listings pop up on the market. This gives you an edge over your competition. But understand that seeing the home before the herd stomps through is itself NOT enough to guarantee you will get the home just because you’re the first offer. Read on to the next tip to understand WHY strategy is important.
4. Strategize Like a Pro!
Negotiations are a critical component of the drive towards winning in the real estate multiple bidding arena. There are many components to a successful negotiation and this blog would be way to long to list all of them here. But, for starters here are some important components for consideration in a winning negotiation:
*Marketplace Knowledge & Comparison
*Terms & Conditions
*Method & Manner of Presentation
No one wants to win a negotiation only to discover later that you purchased a lousy deal! Believe me, many who suffered through the recent past recession within which many lost homes through foreclosure will tell you – Buyer Beware. All that glitters is NOT gold. Which leads us right into our final tip…
5. Be Sane! Stay Flexible
Emerging from this process with your new home and sanity in place is the real win! Buying a new home requires a certain solid internal confidence that in the end, you will prevail. A belief that if a home is for YOU, it will be yours no matter what storms and obstacles present themselves. Resolve internally that YOU WILL OVERCOME! It will not necessarily be easy, but remember that this too shall pass. Even if the process takes six months, at some point it will be over. And you will have the enjoyment of your new home for hopefully many years.
Keeping this in mind, it is good to be mindful of the health and sanity of the real estate professionals who you will need to assist you along this journey. Be kind. Appreciate their efforts. You are likely NOT their only client. So when you are able to reach your ‘help’ after normal business hours and they spend an hour with you on the phone, say THANK YOU. A good REALTOR or Lender will be going more than the extra mile to help you.
Often, the activity behind the scenes will pale in comparison to the effort you are privy to. In fact, after you decide on a home, the REALTOR’s job has just begun. And in a multiple bidding war is likely to include late nights, frustration, dealing with all sorts of issues – some of which are real and some of which are as fake as the ‘fake news’ cycle. Think about this – treating them with dignity and respect increases the chances that they will be willing and available when you or your friends and family need help the next time housing becomes a priority in your life!