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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Richardson - Mortgage Consultant

Navigating the Competitive Housing Market

We know that navigating the housing market can sometimes feel like an impossible obstacle course. Let’s talk through some of the questions that come up most frequently.

Should I Make a Move in a Competitive Housing Market?

Have you ever felt that house hunting is a battle you can’t win? Though it may feel this way, I promise it’s beatable. I can help arm you with the best strategies to triumph.

Consider your timing. You might be trying to time a lease on an apartment or waiting to build your savings. However, it’s important to keep the market in mind. Everything fluctuates, like interest rates, housing inventory, and competition with other buyers. You don’t want to rush, but you also don’t want to wait too long.

Get preapproved! It shows buyers that you’re serious, plus you can narrow your search to homes within your budget, and you can make offers more quickly on homes you love. This will make the process even easier than it already is.

Talk to local real estate professionals. They can provide you with data on recent sales, price trends, and market dynamics to help you make informed decisions. They can also help you craft competitive offers and negotiate with sellers to help you ensnare your dream home. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

How Do I Know When to Lock My Rate?

Rate lock confusion is a real thing! Let’s walk through the process and save you from interest rate FOMO.

Interest rates are volatile because they’re influenced by the overall health of the economy — things like inflation and investor demand. Rates fluctuate daily, sometimes even hourly! It’s not something we can control, but it is something we can take advantage of.

Sometimes buyers need to balance between waiting for a better rate and locking in the one they already have. If you lock now, you could have more rate stability, especially since rates are slated to increase. This means you could solidify a monthly mortgage payment instead of being at the whim of rate swings.

If you wait, a better rate might come along, resulting in a lower monthly payment. This means more money in your pocket and less money paying for your home over time.

If you talk to a lender (like me!) they can investigate your unique financial situation, rate fluctuations, and what rate lock period will work for you.

Beyond Price: What Else Can I Do to Win in Bidding Wars?

Bidding wars getting to you? It might be time to spice up your tactics and show those sellers you’re not just about the numbers. Personalize your offer strategy to fit the seller’s needs. Your realtor will have some great ideas, but here are the most ones important to remember:

  • Flexible closing dates

  • Offer a rent-back agreement

  • Larger earnest money deposit

  • Minimal contingencies

Something that realtors either swear by or condemn is a love letter to the seller. This is a heartfelt note expressing your interest in their home. In this, you’d share what you love about the property and why it’s the perfect fit for you and your family. (If you’ve done this, reach out and let me know how it worked!)

All these options work in tandem with an experienced real estate agent. They can negotiate on your behalf and build a rapport with the seller’s agent, increasing the chances of your offer being accepted.

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