Here are 4 tips for prospective homebuyers right now

Over the last few weeks, we’ve focused our attention on how the sellers’ side of the market has changed – both for our agent friends and the sellers themselves. However, our teams are ready to lend our title and closing expertise to everyone involved in the transaction.

That’s why we’re back this week with four tips for buyers right now. So, what advice has changed, and what should buyers still do? Read on for more.

Understand what’s really happening in the area you’re considering. 

You may have seen the headlines that the market is slowing down and shifting in favor of the buyer – except when you factor in those much-talked-about interest rates. That’s true, but the demand is still high enough that prices are expected to remain steady for the foreseeable future. In fact, home prices are still higher than before the pandemic started and are unlikely to fall back to those levels any time soon.

In addition, if you know you want to be in a specific area, it’s important to research what is, and isn’t, happening with prices and availability there. A good real estate agent could be invaluable for that kind of information.

It’s still important to know what you want.

Getting caught up in the excitement of open houses and new listings is easy. Buyers may be able to look longer, but knowing what you’re looking for before visiting a property is still important. Defining your must-haves and nice-to-haves can help narrow the search and save time and energy for you and your REALTOR®. 

For example, if you know you want a certain number of bedrooms in a particular area of town, those may be non-negotiables for you, no matter what else the property offers. On the other hand, nice-to-haves are features that would be a bonus but aren’t essential, such as a home office or a pool. You may add to both lists as you continue your search, but having a foundation before you start exploring is key. 

Get financially ready for a loan.

We dropped this on the list even though we touched on the importance of preparing for a mortgage last month as part of National Financial Literacy Month, but it’s important to repeat. The pre-approval process can get complicated. Luckily, there are plenty of good loan officers ready to help you.

In addition, while many loan programs exist today that don’t require the traditional 20 percent down, it’s important to have money for a down payment and other upfront costs available.

Don’t skip the home inspection – and use it to your advantage.

The home inspection is back with a vengeance, and that’s a good thing. While the previous white-hot market had some buyers offering to do everything, including skipping the home inspection, that was never good advice – especially now. You want to ensure everything is in working order, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the seller to fix something if an issue is uncovered. Just as importantly, though, a home inspection gives you peace of mind – and can be a guide to what repairs and upgrades will be needed sooner than later, so it’s OK to ask questions.

It’s important to know that it still can be a good time to buy – or sell – a house. As an impartial third party, our teams recommend that everyone involved be as educated as possible about the process, and we thank you for reading our blogs. Reach out to us whenever you need us.

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