Spring homebuying tips
Spring is the busiest time of year for buying and selling real estate. Between the warmer weather, the longer days and the pending summer vacation, buyers and sellers often wait until spring to shop or sell.
There’s more inventory…and more competition: Houses show better in the spring. Gardens are blooming, lawns are lush and sellers are more motivated. But with more listings on the market, there are more people out looking for homes. Plus, many markets have a shortage of homes to begin with, making it even harder for buyers to find a home that meets their needs and stays within their price range.
So, if you’re interested in purchasing a home this spring, you need to have a strategy. Here are some tips:
Find an agent now. Look for a buyer’s agent who has experience in your market. Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with information about local schools, crime rate, and traffic, and should prepare a property value study if you are interested in a certain home. Don’t forget to ask questions before hiring your agent! Get to know their experience and credentials. They will know how much you should pay for any type of home in your market and have the experience to protect you.
Get pre-approved. A letter of pre-approval from your local lender will give you more leverage in situations with multiple offers, because the seller will be confident that you will be able to secure a loan to purchase the property. Plus, a pre-approval will let you know exactly how much you can afford to buy. This makes the home shopping process more efficient, and you won’t waste time with listings out of your price range. You will also save yourself from the heartbreak of falling in love with a home you can afford.
Items needed for a pre-approval:
- For a Credit Report: Full name, social, date of birth and current address
- For Income Review: Most recent pay stubs, retirement/social security documents, and W2s/1099s from the past two years
- For Asset Review: Most recent two months of bank statements, or confirmation for the source of assets at closing
Be ready to commit. With so many buyers looking at homes, you need to be ready to jump on a home once you find the one you love. Once you make your offer, be ready to negotiate quickly. Remember, negotiations aren’t always about price. For instance, giving the sellers an extra few days to move out could be the reason that they choose your offer. Ask your agent to make some suggestions for you. With your real estate agent and loan officer by your side, you can feel confident that you are making the right decision!
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