CC&R’sApril 7, 2015
Hailey Voted #9 Safest City in IdahoApril 13, 2015
Spring and all its glory is here, just take a look at the signs all around you. No, we’re not talking about the budding flowers or the chirping birds, we’re referring to those “For Sale” signs that start popping up on lawns across the country as the weather starts heating up. And once the home-buying season commences … so do the bidding wars and mad dashes from one open house to another.
#1: Close That Laptop and Canvass Old-Fashioned Open Houses
These days, using real estate sites to explore your options is par for the course: 90% of people search for listings online during their home-buying process. Kicking off your search online is a good move, but don’t dawdle too long behind the computer screen, inventory is expected to be tight in many major markets, so you literally want to hit the ground running. Plus, what you view online may not necessarily reflect what you see when you pull up to the curb.
#2: Educate Yourself on Market Values and Trends
Buyers need to get up to speed quickly on market values so they know the right decision when it presents itself. The more quickly buyers can educate themselves, the more successful the home search will be. This, of course, is where it’s really all about location, location, location. Of course, one of the best sources of insider information is a well-connected real estate agent like Jamie Coulter.
#3: Nab Low Mortgage Rates, Now!
Another reason not to dawdle too long? You want to take advantage of low interest rates while they last. In fact, interest rates are so low that, in many markets, monthly mortgage payments are less than rent.
#4: Build Your Home-Buying Dream Team Before You Bid
If spring-cleaning season has you in a hyper-organized mood, channel some of that spirit into your house hunting. In order to be a serious frontrunner in a bidding war, you’ll need to have all of your ducks in a row. So not only will you need a savvy real estate agent, but you’ll also want your lender, inspector and attorney at the ready so you can act fast. And let’s not forget completing your mortgage application and having your loan amount determined in advance.
#5: Keep Sweeten-the-Deal Moves in Mind
So you’ve finally found that dream Tudor on a half-acre, but you’re stuck in a bidding war with another equally prepared buyer. How do you win by a nose? For one, include an escalation clause, along with your offer. This is an amount that you’d automatically be willing to pay above a competing bid.
For example, let’s say you add an escalation clause of $3,000 to your bid of $200,000. If a second offer comes in at $205,000, your bid would get bumped to $208,000. If you’re in a hot market, a significant escalation factor could really pique seller interest.