The COVID-19 pandemic caused many aspects of our lives to slow down. Countless people stopped commuting to the office and chose instead to work from home. Local shop owners shut down their businesses, and restaurants stopped providing dine-in services to their customers to help prevent the spread of the virus. But to the surprise of many, one thing that certainly did not slow down was the real estate market. 

If you are currently looking to sell your home, now is the time to do it! However, if you are currently looking to purchase a new home, you'll need as much information as possible to stand above the competition. And there will be PLENTY of competition when it comes to getting you into the home of your dreams. With today's current real estate circumstances (low home inventory and low-interest rates), people are willing to do just about anything to get into their next house. 

Here are a few things you need to know about buying a home in a seller's market, during a pandemic or otherwise:

Get Pre-Approved:

By obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage before you start shopping for your next home, you'll know how much buying power you have with any seller. USAA also explains how any offers you make will have much more credibility than competing offers where the buyers did not take the crucial step of pre-approval. 

Prepare to Pay More than Asking Price

It's rare to purchase a home at the actual asking price of a house, and that's even in the best of circumstances! In today's competitive market, most buyers are putting in offers of tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price-and even THAT isn't a guarantee to get you into the house! So when you are getting your pre-approval, use that number as the number you are willing to OFFER on a house. Unfortunately, you will probably search for homes with an asking price less than your pre-approval number. 

Be Willing to Compromise

When the inventory of homes is as low as it is in today's market, you likely can't afford to wait for the perfect house to hit the market, let alone be ready and waiting for you to buy it. That's why it's best to adjust your expectations. Remember that you can always start projects and make repairs on a house, but certain things, such as location and lot size, cannot change, and those are the criteria you should be willing to fight for. 

Be Patient

Rocket Mortgage advises its clients that it's easy to get frustrated in times like these. Unfortunately, the chances are high that you will lose out on homes you are interested in, and inexperienced buyers may get caught up in pointless bidding wars and offer more money than a home is worth. Take a deep breath, don't get discouraged, and be patient if this sounds like you. The house that you want and need will eventually find its way to you. 

Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

In a seller's real estate market, you need a real estate agent who not only has proven expertise in the local area but who also fully understands your needs, is responsive to your questions and requests, is efficient, and is respected. A qualified and trustworthy agent is sure to fight for you every step of the way and do anything possible to get you into your next home as quickly and as stress-free as possible.  

Knowing how to navigate an intimidating and competitive real estate market takes an expert hand. Starved Rock Realty prides itself on providing exemplary customer service and impeccable knowledge, our local area, and the current conditions of the market. We take every measure to ensure you are satisfied with all your real estate needs and will do whatever it takes to be worthy of your business.  

To learn how Starved Rock Realty can help you with buying or selling a home, visit our website or call us today at 815-667-9990. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest tips on how to navigate the world of real estate. 

Sources

https://www.usaa.com/inet/wc/advice-real-estate-tips-for-buying-a-home-in-a-sellers-market?akredirect=true
 
https://www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/buyers-market-vs-sellers-market
 
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/mortgages/buy-a-home-in-a-sellers-market/