Buyers May 18, 2017

Buying in a Seller’s Market

Everyone knows today’s market is hot, and we often hear the term “seller’s market” thrown around…but what does that mean?

In real estate, there are 3 types of markets: a seller’s market, a buyer’s market and a neutral market. A seller’s market is when the amount of houses for sale (or the supply) is really low – meaning there is a huge demand and sellers can keep prices high. Often there’s also multiple buyers going for the same house and getting in a bidding war, driving the price even higher.

In Spokane, the average price of a home has gone up about 10% compared to this time last year.

If you’re on the hunt for a house, here are some things you need to know in today’s market:

Get pre-approved

You need to know what you can afford and, more importantly in this market, this shows the seller that you’re serious.

Make your “needs” list ahead of time

If you do your research early, you know what you need and what you want. This helps you move move fast once you find a house you really want. When I say move fast…I mean FAST. When a home hits the market and it sounds like “the one,” you need to see it within hours of being listed and write up an offer immediately, if you like it.

Make your earnest money desirable

If you are serious, make your earnest money high…it goes toward your closing costs or down payment in the end, anyway. It’s more proof to the seller that you’re a serious buyer and if you bag out…they get that money. Keep in mind, if there’s a structural issue or anything that you decide you don’t like about the house…you don’t automatically lose that money. Assuming you asked for an inspection contingency, you have 10 days to back out and get your money back.

Look for potential

You know the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Well look for the potential in every home! Channel your inner Chip and Joanna Gaines to see how you could make it suitable for you and your family. However, don’t force it. Never buy a home that you don’t love or couldn’t make lovable.

Don’t Request Favors

Now is not the time to ask the seller for fixtures or to paint the bathroom. Be realistic. In a competitive the market, the less likely a seller will be to make those repairs. However, if the inspection turns up a major defect…you may be able to get them to a) lower the purchase price or b) fix it. Think of the inspection as making sure the house is what you thought it was…not getting the seller to fix every minor defect.

This is a huge purchase – so make sure you’re prepared and ready to move quickly…because it’s hot out there.