Buyers in a Seller's Market

We are experiencing a crazy Seller's market right now, both nation-wide and in our Louisville Market. We are seeing low inventory and multiple offers on new listings, rising well beyond list price. According to the Greater Louisville Association of realtors, April home sales were up 15.8% over last year, average sales prices were up nearly 10% and the average number of days on the market are nearly cut in half. Interest rates are still very low, and, as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we see that people are ready to get moving again. 

It may seem overwhelming to dip your toe in the waters when considering to purchase a home in this frantic environment. Here are some professional tips to consider when preparing to buy:

GET PRE-APPROVED - Getting pre-approved by a reputable lender is a great way to prevent potential heartache and to help set your expectations before you even step foot inside a potential home. With the current multiple offer situation on new listings, I recommend avoiding homes at the top of your price range and definitely not above it. Doing so will likely lead to frustration and disappointment.

Sellers and their Realtors will look at pre-approval letters at the time you make an offer and look for legitimate lenders who have checked your credit, verified your income, identified the type of loan you need, and various other important factors. A pre-approval letter that provides as much detail as possible helps the Seller know you’re a good, serious candidate who will work in earnest to get to the closing table with the least amount of hiccups.

DETERMINE WHERE YOU WANT TO LIVE - Before you start looking at homes, talk to your Realtor and do some research about different areas. I always recommend driving in the day-time and night to make sure certain areas are right for you.

Determine what is most important: Proximity to work, school, or amenities like parks, restaurants and shopping? Avoiding noisy highways or commercial properties? Living in or out of a Home Owners Association (HOA) with particular rules and additional expenses? Size of lot? Living in or out of a flood plain?

Once you’ve prioritized location we can best identify available homes that are in line with your wants, needs and budget.

ASSESS YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS - Speaking of… it’s important to know which attributes you desire in a home, inside and out. A simple method is to write down in three columns, the features of a property that you:

A. Absolutely must have

B. Would like if to have but could live without

C. Definite no-nos

You can choose whatever method works best for you, but having something in writing helps to keep you stay narrow-focused. The more detailed your list, the easier it is to address your hot buttons. Each time you view potential homes you can fine tune your wants and needs even further. That is all a part of the process.

ENGAGE AN EXPERIENCED REALTOR YOU TRUST - The bottom line is having an experience and knowledgeable Realtor on your side is more important than ever. A good Realtor should be available, persistent and always have your best interest in mind. Your Realtor will help you be prepared, will be diligent in your search, will be clear and creative when negotiating (even if it take a couple tries) and will guide and educate you through the process.

Beyond price, there are other creative ways to make your offer look attractive. When looking at your offer, the seller will assess how likely you are to get to the closing table smoothly. You will need to mentally prepare yourself to put your best foot forward. Know the high-end price that you are comfortable offering. Discuss a game plan ahead of time with your Realtor. It can be bumpy and frustrating ride but knowing what to expect and having a professional on your side can make all of the difference. We can help!

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