The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the U.S. housing market. Since its onset, markets across the country have become full-blown sellers’ markets. If you’re looking to buy a home under these conditions, you’re in for an uphill battle. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your odds of finding – and buying – suitable homes for sale in Central Florida.
Here are our top suggestions:
- Top Off Your Savings Account – If you already know you’ll need help from parents or others to afford to buy a home, don’t wait until you’ve found the right one to ask. Ideally, you should have all the money you’ll need in your savings account before actively looking at a single listing. Therefore, bite the bullet and ask your folks or other relatives for that crucial cash infusion sooner rather than later.
- Get a Pre-Approval – In May 2021, homes were only staying on the market for an average of 17 days before being snapped up by eager buyers. Sellers are well aware of this, and most only want to deal with prospective buyers with the means to act quickly. By obtaining a full pre-approval from your lender – one that includes in-depth underwriting – you will reassure sellers of your financial capabilities, giving you a strong leg up on the competition.
- Know That Bidding Wars are a Reality – Regardless of your budget or other variables, the odds are good that you’ll end up competing for the same house with multiple buyers. As of November 2021, 39% of home sales involved multiple bidders, so bidding wars are par for the course. Minimize this issue by looking at homes slightly below your budget so that you have a little cushion to work with. If you find a house that checks all the boxes, consider making an offer above the asking price to prevent an unpleasant bidding war entirely.
- Be Strategic – Now is not the time to take a laid-back approach to finding a home to buy. To cut to the chase faster, have specific parameters in mind, including budget, size, must-haves, and dealbreakers. Investigate potential options online, eliminating those that don’t meet your requirements, to zero in on better prospects.
- Be Ready to Pounce – Finally, any time you check out a potential home for the first time, be ready to make an offer on the spot. As mentioned above, this is easier to do when you have a clear list of must-haves and dealbreakers. More importantly, keep an open mind and be flexible about all but the most crucial features. For example, a fenced-in yard might be nice for the dog, but it’s something you can workaround. On the other hand, having three bedrooms may be crucial depending on the size of your family.
It’s a challenging time for buyers seeking homes for sale in Central Florida and around the country, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. By keeping the above tips in mind, you’ll have an easier time identifying and procuring the right house, even under these trying circumstances.