July 21  |  Real Estate

9 Tips for Buying a Home in a Competitive Market

You’ve heard it time and time again over the past year: the real estate market is booming. Interest rates are low, home prices are up and buyers are excited for a change of scenery. But while a hot market is great for sellers, it doesn’t always bode well for the average buyer. This has caused many to start asking: in a market that seems to be going 100 miles a minute—how can you stay competitive and finally purchase your dream home? 

Below, we’ve rounded up a few tips to help you navigate the competitive market. By following our guide and working with one of our experienced agents, you’ll be able to position yourself as the most attractive buyer in a handful of offers. 


1.) Prepare Yourself

Buying a home in a competitive market means you’ll need to move swiftly and make very quick decisions. So, before you jump into the deep end, take a few steps to really prepare yourself, both mentally and fiscally. First, get to know your current housing market. Go to open housestour homes virtually and start making decisions on what kind of home you want to buy. Putting in that legwork will help you become familiar with the local market and current selling prices as well as make you a more confident buyer. And when the time comes to make an offer, you’ll be able to act quickly and avoid making mistakes you’ll later regret. Click here to read our 2021 market forecast to get an idea on what to expect when searching for a home this year. 


2.) Get Your Finances & Papers in Order


It’s a fact that the better your financial picture is when entering the home buying process, the stronger your offer will be. Before you start on your home search, make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Meet with a financial advisor to ensure your financial picture is sound and that you have a good down payment. Pull your credit report and make sure there are no major gaps that could later be called into question. And gather up other documents that you’ll need to help make it easier on yourself down the road: income verification, bank statements, address history, debt information and more. 


3.) Assess Your Wants & Needs

Now’s the time to break out the yellow Manilla notepad and start making a list of all your wants and needs. What area would you like to live in? How many bedrooms do you need? Are there any must-haves that you’ll be looking for in a new home? You’ll also want to take a moment to assess your wants versus your needs. Do you need an extra bedroom or do you just want one? Knowing what you’re willing to give on is important when getting ready to dive into a competitive market. 


4.) Get Pre-Approved

Most buyers need financing to purchase your home and if that’s you, getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you start on your home search is a crucial first step—especially when the market is this hot. This allows you to be taken a little more seriously as a buyer and will cause sellers to consider you over someone who hasn’t already been pre-approved for a loan. Group Mortgage is a joint venture between The Group Real Estate and Cornerstone Home Lending committed to on-time closings and a satisfying home-financing experience. Click here to learn more and call (970) 419-2374 to speak with a lending officer. 


5.) Find a Great Agent


Arguably the easiest and most crucial part of any home buying process is finding a good Realtor that will help you through the entire process. We say it’s easy because The Group is home to the best broker associates in Northern Colorado (and even maybe the world!). No matter who you pick, they’ll be able to not only find and show you newly listed properties but help you write an offer, act as a liaison with the seller’s agent and answer any questions you may have about the process. Click here to explore our long list of agents or contact us directly so we can connect you with one! 


6.) Be Ready to Move Quickly

We’ve seen homes spend less than 12 hours on the market before someone snatches them up in this current real estate climate. So, once you’ve found a place you’d like to call home, you need to act fast. This is where all those preparations come into play. Because of all the prep work you’ve done in advance, you should be able to make tough decisions quickly and decisively. And don’t worry, your agent will be a big help to you here, too!


7.) Make Yourself Stand Out


This is the really tough part. How do you make yourself stand out among all the other people who are fighting tooth and nail to get the same home you are? The first way is by making a competitive offer. Offering a higher price, making a bigger down payment, or being flexible with the closing date—these are just a few financial ways to let the seller know you’re in it to win it. 


8.) Stay Flexible

One of the best ways to make yourself stand out amongst the crowd of buyers is by staying flexible. Consider having your agent reach out to the seller to see if there is anything you can do to make yourself more competitive. Maybe they want a longer closing or inspection period to look for a new home themselves. Maybe they want to keep their beloved appliances or don’t want to repaint the home before closing—showing the seller you’re willing to work with them can put you miles above the rest. 


9.) Keep Trying


The truth of the matter is that you may not nab your dream home on the first try. Home inventory is remarkably low and when homes do come on the market, they tend to sell remarkably quickly. This means you may have to wait a while before you can finally sign on the dotted line. But don’t give up! Keep looking at houses, putting in offers and playing the waiting game. We promise it will pay off eventually! 


Want to learn more? 

Give us a call! We would love to help you on your home buying journey.

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