Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor®
Philadelphia Main Line Homes and Real Estate
Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties
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Buyers: No Need to Fear a Seller's Market
You've probably all heard by now: It's a seller's market out there.
Yes, the real estate market has turned about face from just a few years ago, and now buyers are finding that prices and purchase terms are often more favorable for the sellers than for them.
Not to worry or feel intimidated, especially if you are looking to buy. While the seller's advantage is clear in most markets throughout North America, it is not a given. Here are some things that buyers should take special note of to ensure that they get a fair deal:
- Hire a real estate professional—Seek a buyer's agent who is paid by you and has the duty to represent your best interests. While you are responsible for paying the buyer's agent, the net cost can be zero if you write in your offer that the seller is to pay the buyer agent's commission.
- Don't impulse buy—With such a competitive real estate market out there, sometimes with little inventory, you may be tempted to buy on impulse. Don't. Remember, this is a lifetime investment and you must exercise caution when making this purchase. Take the time to research the market, and don't let your fear of losing out on a house make you buy too hastily. You may live to regret it.
- Get pre-approved financing—Be sure to get quotes from at least three lenders and consider getting a pre-approval letter or an actual loan commitment before making an offer. Let mortgage rates, not price, be the most important consideration. You can afford to pay more for the house if you can lock into a low mortgage rate. Pre-approved financing will expedite the process when you decide to make an offer on a house.
- Bid fair and try to minimize contingencies—Don't sweat the small stuff. Sellers may get several offers and they'll probably take the one with the least contingencies, especially in today's market where the climate is in their favor. If you do have contingencies, be sure they are supported with explanations. Sellers are more likely to accept if you give fair explanations.
- Don't skip out on the home inspection—Sure, you may want the house really badly, but don't eliminate the home's inspection contingency. You never know what the inspection might turn up. And if there are findings, you can use the estimated repair costs to leverage a better deal with the sellers.
- Be aware of overpricing—It's not uncommon for seller's to overvalue their homes. This is especially a problem in today's seller's market. Seller's may think they can get a lot more than their home's actual value because the market is so competitive. Be aware of this. You don't want to pay too much for a home, or you may not get your money out of it. This could be especially true if the market flips in a few years, to a buyer's market, and you are ready to sell.
Today's real estate market may be a little intimidating, especially to buyers. But remember, with some knowledge of your own and the assistance of an experienced real estate professional, you, too, can buy wise in a seller's market.
"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
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