Home-Buying Tips to Beat the Spring Market

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You’re a home buyer looking in the towns of Weston, Wellesley and Wayland, MA, and it’s April 2018, a.k.a. the height of the Spring market. You’re looking for a house in the $1M range, and you’re facing hundreds of competitive buyers, many of whom are making offers that are without mortgage commitments and that are significantly above and beyond the asking price. In fact, some of these buyers are even waiving their inspection contingencies. Yikes! How do you even begin to compete in this kind of environment?

It’s tough, but don’t despair. Here are some strategies you can ponder and potentially use to help you compete in – and possibly even beat – the competitiveness of the Spring home-buying market:

  1. Target homes that need some work. Most buyers today want a home that’s “move right in.” Their lives are too busy and complicated, and so they want something that’s easy. Therefore these turnkey homes are in high demand, and people go crazy over them. And by “go crazy,” I mean overpay, drop their mortgage contingencies and sometimes even waive their inspection contingencies. Everybody wants these houses. The demand is out of control. And so by targeting a home that needs some work, you will have less competition and your chances of not having to go out of your comfort zone to buy the house goes up significantly.

  2. Focus on homes that have accrued days on the market. This phenomenon usually goes hand in hand with tip #1 in that the homes that need some work often have accrued days on the market. But sometimes there are nice homes that simply sit on the market. Perhaps the house is overpriced, and there haven’t been any price reductions, and so the market has dismissed it. Or the market has overlooked the home for some reason that leaves agents scratching their heads. Whatever the reason, a home with accrued days on the market translates to a buyer getting a better deal without the crazy Spring market competition.

  3. Postpone your search slightly until the late Spring/early Summer. As we approach the end of May and enter into the summer months, home buyer demand wanes somewhat, but the inventory is often higher and so the intensity around bidding on and buying a house lessens. The same is true for the holiday season – late November into December. A small caveat, however…. If a “move right in” property in a great location at a competitive price comes on the market at any time of the year, it still will likely bring on a bevy of competitive offers.

  4. Downgrade your price point. This is another option though truly I’ve never had a buyer opt to do this. Once you see what you can get at a higher price point, it’s hard to downgrade. That being said, the theory behind this is that if you can actually afford much more than what you are offering for a house, then you have the freedom and opportunity to make an incredibly competitive and strong offer.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you encountered a similar competitive home buying scenario? If so, did you use some of the tactics above to help combat the situation? Or were there other strategies you used? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.