Good day, everyone, it's Eric and I'm here today to talk about our biggest stressor as a second–time homebuyer — what to do first: to list our current home, or make an offer on our new one.
This appears to be much like the classic chicken or the egg question — but with knowledge on the local area housing market on your side, it's a bit easier to answer and depends largely on whether it's a "seller's market" or a "buyer's market."
In our case, we were in a hot seller's market, which meant homes were in short supply and prices were high. In a seller's market homes typically go fast, close to asking price, and with lots of competition. Taking this into consideration, and knowing from our agent there was more inventory in the neighborhood where we were looking to move, we decided to list our home first — a cautious and advised move — and then focus on finding our new home.
"This time around, as buyers and sellers, we really relied heavily on the strength of our team."
After sprucing up our home to get it market ready, we met with our agent who helped educate us on the listing process. We studied the neighborhood sales and listing reports and came up with a price we felt was good, yet fair. "Priced to move," our agent said. Before we knew it, our home was on the market!
Within three weeks we finalized an offer with a 3–month closing date — giving us enough time to find our new home. We quickly switched seats to the buying side, which we were a bit more familiar with the second time around, although our first home purchase was in a buyer's market.
Some advice for buying in today's seller's market:
- Get pre–approved. Before you start looking, get your finances in order and meet with your lender to get pre–approved, allowing you to understand how much you can afford.
- Work with an experienced real estate agent. You'll need to rely on someone you can trust who knows the ins and outs of the local market and its inventory.
- Be ready to act fast and make your best offer. If you find the home that meets your bucket list and falls in your price range, be ready to act.
- Be prepared to bid. "Bidding wars" are quite common and you'll need to know your maximum offer before you begin looking. You may want to begin searching for homes below your target price for some wiggle room in the end.
We had some stressful moments, but our agent was our rock and carried us through the most challenging times. We did it!
(And, for what it's worth, I believe the egg came first.)
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