A growing number of Americans are on the hunt to purchase a home, but many could have trouble finding a home to buy. A survey by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reveals the difficulties of finding the right property have surpassed challenges obtaining financing as the most cited reason clients are not purchasing homes.
This finding speaks to the tightened inventory conditions seen in many areas of the country. There simply are not enough homes available to purchase — predominantly at the low end of the market, where first-time buyers are most likely to shop.
“There’s more demand than inventory, which has pushed up home prices to levels above what many first-time buyers are comfortable spending,” said Denise McDonald, President of the Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®. “People spend countless hours going through the process of obtaining a loan and locating their perfect home only to find themselves competing in a bidding war.”
Fortunately, the market is showing some signs of improvement. NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, says a housing supply of over 6 months is needed for a generally balanced market between home buyers and sellers. He predicts we will continue to see a balancing act between housing inventory and price growth, and more inventory and increased new-home construction will help to foster healthy market conditions.
So, the future is looking brighter, but what should potential buyers looking to enter the market now do to increase their chances of finding their dream home?
Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® suggests buyers carefully evaluate their finances and get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage. “You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more appealing to the seller,” McDonald stated.
Making a clean offer with as few contingencies as possible can also help buyers who find themselves competing with multiple bidders. “The best offer isn’t always the one with the highest price,” said McDonald. “It’s the one with the fewest hassles and restrictions.” Eliminating or reducing the number of contract contingencies, through things like pre-offer inspections, can help make your offer stronger.
Most importantly, Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® recommends working with a REALTOR®. “Prospective buyers should look for a REALTORÒ who is familiar with the areas and neighborhoods they are considering,” stated McDonald. “A REALTOR’S® unique knowledge and insight to local markets can’t be replicated by simply searching online. They can provide valuable advice, discuss listings, show you homes in person, negotiate on your behalf and help you stay focused on the emotional and financial issues which are most important.” A REALTOR® will be your advocate.
Consumers who want the most accurate, up-to-date property listings in their area should also visit realtor.com®. Together, REALTORS® and realtor.com® can give buyers the advantage they need in today’s market and help make their dream home happen.
For more information about buying or selling a home, be sure to work with a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Snohomish County. If you have questions for The Expert about real estate email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting https://www.sccar.org.