While the U.S. housing market recovery is heating up across the nation, the Triangle Area housing recovery in North Carolina is on fire. Sellers are in the driver’s seat. Buyers are faced with limited inventory, high buyer demand and multiple offer situations, with offers to purchase often exceeding original ask prices by thousands of dollars.
So what’s a buyer to do?
1. Find yourself a highly qualified, attentive and responsive buyer’s agent.
A highly qualified buyer’s agent is key in this marketplace. Professionals who know the
area and the marketplace, know how to ferret out new properties, get you in quickly, and
negotiate offers on your behalf is KEY. Clearly communicate your budget, location, and
housing requirements to your agent, so he/she can create focused searches.
2. Know your “buying power”.
Before selecting your agent, get pre-qualified/pre-approved. Know your budget, and loan
terms so that you can focus your search and make an offer that includes your pre-qual.
In this market, sellers won’t entertain an offer without a pre-qualification.
3. Make offers that “Stick”.
Buyers want a bargain–everybody does. However, low-ball offers set a bad tone for
the negotiation process. In a hot housing market, with few days on market, your offer
should be at “ask” or close to “ask” as possible. Be willing to offer hefty due diligence
monies, and earnest money. This goes a long way in showing the seller they have a
serious buyer. Avoid contingencies–extras you want, rather than need. Clean offers,
with hefty due diligence and earnest money shows the seller you have skin in the game.
In multiple offer situations, focus your attention on what you are willing and able to pay
for the home. Worrying about what the next guy is offering,creates panic buying–NOT
GOOD. Be careful to offer an above-ask price that is fiscally responsible and one the
market will support. OVER-ASK purchase prices still need to appraise!
4. Pack your pocket book and patience…
Going from contract to close requires money and patience. Inspections and appraisals are
out-of-pocket buyer expenses. Generally, inspections run $350-$450, appraisals run
about $400-$450. Additional inspections may be required from your lender (i.e. pest,
septic, sometimes structural. Alll told, a buyer can expect to cough up $1200-$1500
the contract-to-close process.
A lot can go wrong during inspections and negotiations. Be patient and remain calm.
Set both your home inspection and home appraisal within the first week.
You need to know what to ask for from the seller in terms of repairs. Some repairs have
a direct impact on the home’s value (i.e. HVAC, electrical, roofing, appliances). An
agent equipped with both the inspection report and an accurate home appraisal can
negotiate intelligently on your behalf by targeting the most costly repairs that have the
greatest impact on your home’s value.