There is a lot of chatter in our community and across the nation about how hot the market is right now, but what does that mean as a buyer?
From my personal experience with clients, it seems like the majority of buyers in 2016 were thinking about it in 2015. For that matter, a lot of 2016 buyers could have bought in 2015. Instead, they waited. This collective waiting has spurred an upsurge in buyers in some Savannah neighborhoods and a depletion in inventory. A home’s average days on the market dwindled significantly and sellers are seeing multiple offers coming through. This is what real estate professionals mean by a hot market.
So what can a buyer do who may have waited and is now in fierce competition with increasing prices?
The number one thing buyers in a hot market need is to have all their financing in a row before ever looking at a house. There is no point to troll through neighborhoods before the lender gives the go ahead. Since the competition is high, smart buyers are going to have the paperwork already taken care of and will be able to make an offer on the spot.
The second most important aspect of buying in a hot market, is to be ready, motivated and work with an agent who is too. Looking briefly at the Midtown area (Abercorn to Waters, Victory to DeRenne and Parkside), the past 30 days has seen a home’s average days on market of 66 days. The two previous months saw an average days on market of 91. This means that homes are coming off the market quicker than ever and time is most certainly of the essence. Buyers are having to make, what can often feel like, split second decisions when they see a hot property.
This leads into the third most important aspect of acting quickly, the offer itself. When looking at a property that hasn’t been on the market for more than a day or a week, it is very hard for a seller to swallow an offer well below list. There just isn’t that much room to negotiate. It’s important to keep in mind, as a buyer, what is most important to you. Is it more important to win at the game or to get the house you want to be in? Is it more important to not pay list or not paying closing costs out of pocket? Understanding your financial and emotional needs are key in making a strong offer that as a buyer, you feel comfortable with.
There’s no need to shy away from a hot market, but there it is definitely something to prepare for. Get your finances on board, be prepared to act quickly and understand your needs. Obviously this is good advice in any market, but when your needs are now it’s even more important.