Real estate markets across the country are red hot. It is not uncommon for sellers to receive numerous offers within days of listing their property. Time and time again, our REALTORS® have seen homes sell for well above their listing price. If you have your eye on the perfect property for your next home, we recommend taking the time to get prepared before you jump into the pool of buyers eager to get their hands on your dream home.
Start by getting preapproved for a loan. This is more rigorous than a prequalification process and shows you precisely where you stand and how much the lender will loan for your purchase. There are multiple advantages to this when searching for Mansfield or Ashland homes for sale. It helps narrow down your search to only those properties within your price range. This speeds up the process considerably. It also shows you how high you can go if a bidding war breaks out. Equally important, when multiple offers are submitted, sellers are more likely to accept offers from preapproved buyers than those who are merely pre-qualified.
In fact, be prepared to pay more than the listing price. This is especially true for well-maintained homes in desirable locations. It's not unheard of for homes to sell for 100-110% or more of the asking price. As you search, factor this into your calculations and search for homes that are 95% or less of your preapproval.
- Listing Prices
In a hot real estate market, it is common for homes to be listed at higher prices. Thus, you have to be very careful not to jump at a listing because it seems like a good deal; that good deal may still be 15-20% higher than justified. It's always a good idea to review property records, appraisals, recent sales of comparable property, etc., to confirm the listing price is reasonable.
Another thing to note is that sellers are not offering many concessions right now. You're unlikely to get discounts for repairing damage to the building, and you're even less likely to get discounts for changing paint colors, flooring, and other cosmetic issues. It never hurts to ask, but don't be surprised if the answer is "no."
- Wish List
If you've ever heard the expression "there's no such thing as perfect," well, this is the time to take it to heart. You are unlikely to find the perfect home that checks all your boxes right now. Instead, you need to make a list of negotiable/non-negotiable attributes you need and want. Whether it's an extra bedroom, outdoor space, multi-car garage, etc., be prepared to take items off your "want" list when a near-perfect home comes into view.
- Know Your Limit
Real estate is likely the largest single investment you will ever make. It's exciting, and it can be extremely rewarding. However, it's very easy to "get in over your head." That's why you should never rush your decision. Knowing what you want, knowing what you can afford, and what you're willing to take off the table for the time being helps ensure you find a good balance between what you want, want you need, and what you can afford.
Contact us for more information about the steps we recommend taking before jumping into the market. It's our pleasure to guide you and help you make your move when the ideal home comes into the picture.