If you haven’t bought or sold a home in a few years or are a first time home buyer, don’t worry—we are here to help you.
One thing that is beneficial for you to know is that the housing landscape has shifted to a Seller’s Market in many areas. Why, you ask? There is a shortage of inventory and surplus of purchasers. Lets take a look at what the statistics show about some of our favorite Richmond neighborhoods:
The chart below shows the months of inventory in the Central Virginia region. As you can see, the inventory has been declining since peaking in the 2009/10 time frame
The chart below illustrates the seasonality to the absorption of homes. Understanding the absorption of homes into the marketplace is key in establishing the correct strategy.
What does this mean for you as a Buyer? It’s important to have your ducks in a row so that when you find the house that you just can’t live without, you imagine yourself moving right on in–but, before that, you move quickly to put in a strong offer that the seller can’t refuse. With inventory low, it is more important than ever to be a savvy and smart buyer, and here’s how to do it . . .
Go Pro: Hiring an experienced Buyer’s Agent ensures you have representation and guidance in this complicated and important personal transaction. Using a Realtor gives you up-to-date, “real time” information on new listings through the Multiple Listing Service as soon as information hits the market—and, if your agent is a wise networker with other agents, you may just get a heads up just before your dream home hits the market!
Talk Numbers: Talking to a lender in the beginning stage accomplishes two very important things: it shows you exactly what you can afford and secures a pre-approval letter. Having a pre-approval letter in hand prior to looking at properties is a key component to being able to move quickly. In this market, timing matters, and you can lose a house in a matter of hours. If we have all these pieces in place before we look at properties, then you will be poised to make your offer and make your move . . . and, this just might give you the edge you need over other interested buyers.
Know the market: Do your research and watch the market in the area that interests you most. Being an educated buyer, in concert with a professional Realtor’s knowledge and expertise, will help you recognize a well priced house when it hits the market and you can confidently move forward quickly.
Tie up your laces and get your foot in the door: In such a competitive market, when a property pops up that might be “the one,” it is vital that we get in that front door as fast as we can. That might mean leaving work in the middle of the day or convincing Fido that you will take him for a walk later that evening. In some of these hot areas, houses hit the market and have an offer in a matter of hours—and, of course, we want that offer to be yours!
Check back for part two of this series: tips on making an offer the seller won’t want to refuse!