A lot of people ask me about certain trends in the real estate market that they hear about, see or feel in their own community. They wonder when is the right time to sell their home, if they
Booming Business Means Competing Buyers
With pre-existing home sales at a high, the real estate market in the Texas Hill Country and surrounding area is on fire, and many buyers are feeling it! Some have compared our market to California, with many homes being sold in less than a day, and multiple offers on anything remotely reasonable.
Though our prices are still far-cry from those in the Sunshine State, we are all feeling the competition to find a home an affordable price. So here are some tips to help you stay competitive in the search for a new home :
1) Know what you want. Start by understanding your needs for today and the next several years. Talk about it diligently with your partner to know your must haves, wants and would-be-nice and make a list! The more you know what you are looking for the faster you can react to new listings. Know the exact neighborhoods you would like to be in or how far you would be willing to drive to work so you can search in some unexpected areas. I have had many clients think they had to be in one place only to fin d the perfect home 30 minutes in the opposite direction. Keeping an open mind will help in the search.
2) Adopt a strategy of shooting first and asking questions later. (I know this doesn't sound like great advice but...) The early bird gets the worm in this market so sometimes you have to put in offers on homes before you see them. As an agent, I know how to build in protection to allow you the time to make decisions while having a home secured from the competition, but occasionally it means making an offer sight unseen. However, if you know what you are looking for, it can be easier to judge from online photos or tours whether a home is right for you.
3) Know your budget and what it means! Getting a pre-approval from a good lender means having your ducks in a row when you find the home you want. Having your tax returns, paystubs, bank statements and credit in line will make the process easier when the time comes to make and offer. Know that changing loan programs to get a lower down payment can mean your budget will go down. The more prepared you are up front, the less likely a deal is to fall through once you have the home you love.
4) Understand that you may not get everything you want. In a perfect world we would all find the exact home we want, at the budget we need, in the town we love. Unfortunately that isn't the case. We have to give up things we want for the things we need. Fortunately, I know of several loan programs that can allow you to build the cost of repairs or upgrades into your loan so that even if the home doesn't have everything you want right now, you can make the changes you want without breaking the bank.
5) Work with an agent that knows your market. The San Antonio market is HUGE. Millions of homes, thousands of neighborhoods... There can be a lot to know. A part time agent may not have time to explore all the options, talk to other agents about pocket listings or off market deals, call new home developers to find out what deals they have on inventory homes or attend open houses. You need an agent who can make sure that when the right home comes on the market, you are the first to know. So work with someone with a proven track record.
6) And lastly, have fun! House hunting can be very stressful, but it can also be extremely fun! See new things, get new ideas, and learn something about a process you didn't know before. Take time away from the hunt to go for walks, eat ice cream, watch a movie and relax. If you have a great agent on your side, your life should be much easier.
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Tim Warlow Jr.
Carter TX Realty, Hill Country Team
Branch Manager, REALTOR