If you think buying a house in the spring is a good idea, you are not alone. In fact, the spring home buying season is among the busiest for real estate agents. There are a few reasons for this; not only do sellers believe their homes will sell more quickly in the beautiful spring weather when features like curb appeal and outdoor spaces are best appreciated, but buyers prefer to see properties during the most beautiful months of the year.
Be prepared to pay the list price
Since the spring housing market is hot, there are fewer great deals to go around. Sellers are aware that the springtime is a seller’s market, and are more likely to hold out for their listing price. If you genuinely love a house, be prepared to pay the actual list price for it or consider looking for homes that are listed below your absolute maximum to ensure you still get a good deal.
If you are bargain hunting, you are more likely to have luck in the heat of the summer, when most buyers are away on vacation, or during the harsh winter, when the market cools down.
Get preapproved by a local lender
Sellers who are motivated to get out of their home will want to do so quickly, and local lenders are just speedier at moving the process along. To compete in a hot housing market, a preapproval or prequalification from a local lender may be your ticket to snagging the house of your dreams.
Out-of-state banks and lenders are generally shuffled to the bottom of the pile of offers because they are less desirable. Don’t worry if you’ve gotten a pre-approval from an out-of-state or online broker; you can still get an approval from a local lender.
Get creative with your offer
Getting a little creative with your offer can help you snag the house of your dreams, and it doesn’t have to cost you more money. A seller might be motivated to take your offer over others if you have something unique to offer. The additional offer can be anything from an extra week to move out of the property, to paying for their moving expenses.
Real estate agents are a great source of information about what may motivate a seller to take your offer over others. They have seen all sorts of contingencies and requests, so they are the best source of creative extras to add to your offer.
Find a neighborhood you love, then find a specialist
Any real estate agent will know the area you are shopping in, but a select few work in specific communities. If you have your heart set on a particular neighborhood, look for a real estate agent who is well-known in the area. Not only will they have the skinny on homes for sale in the area, but they can also provide a wealth of knowledge to potential buyers. This type of information can come in especially handy when the market is hot.
House hunting can be a truly stressful experience, but arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible can make it a bit easier. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you are confused at any point in the process. A qualified real estate agent or mortgage broker is a great wealth of knowledge—utilize them.