How Do I Buy A Home In This Crazy Market?
You’ve likely heard a story or two about the wild real estate market we are having right now.
Nationally, there are 50% less homes on the market right now than this time last year. In the Ashburn area, there are 56% fewer homes on the market now than last May, according to Virginia realtor.com®’s newly released Market Indicators Report.
We are in the midst of some of the lowest levels of homes for sale in years, in some areas, decades. At the same time, there are more buyers than ever trying to move all at the same time.
As someone who might be thinking about buying a home, you might be wondering how to make that happen when all you hear about is bidding wars, cash offers, and no homes on the market.
There’s Still A Way
Now more than ever, buying a home means you have to not only be prepared, you need to be strategic and you need to have a creative agent by your side that can find homes that aren’t on the market yet.
But, before I dive into how I do that, I want to first share why we are in this place because one big question I’m getting is “how long it’s going to be like this.”
The short answer is not forever.
Why This Is Happening
There is a “perfect storm” of reasons that have collided all at the same time.
Super Low Interest Rates – Like maybe you feel, many buyers are feeling like NOW is the time to move to their “forever” home because interest rates are so low (but increasing).
Life Changed for Everyone at the Exact Same Time, Forcing Changes in Housing Needs – Because of the pandemic, life for many has forever changed. Many people have been told they will continue to work remotely, even after the pandemic is over, while others have been affected negatively by the pandemic and can’t make the move they were hoping to. Plus, never before have we had such a drastic, nationwide change in lifestyle, making buyers in every market needing to move all the at same time. The entire country is moving and there is high demand for similar housing stock like never before.
Many Sellers Are “Stuck” With No Place To Go – Many sellers are saying, ”I would sell my house if I knew I could get a house, but I keep hearing there are bidding wars and cash offers. There is no way I’ll win, so I guess we’ll just stay put,” again causing less homes to be for sale.
You can’t just wait for something to come on the MLS. Right now, we need to do more to not only find you a great home, but then make sure you get it once you find one.
Out-of-the-Box Strategies to Find Your Home Now
To better deal with the lack of supply, there are strategies I use to find clients homes when there is little inventory and the competition is fierce. Plus, there are some actions you as a buyer need to take on as well.
And for those of you selling and buying, we need to shift your perspective and strategies too.
· Be very clear about what you are looking for in a home. Having more clarity can help us look for off-market homes for you. Yes, homes that aren’t officially listed.
· Understand that this isn’t your usual market. Your plans will still come to fruition; they just may be delayed, but not forever.
· The opportunities. Despite what you might be hearing, there are still some good opportunities out there. There are segments of the market that have less competition and even some opportunities that have been on the market for some time where you don’t need to compete and you could even negotiate favorable terms
Matching Buyers to Potential Sellers
When inventory is low, it’s time to get creative and be more proactive in finding a home that’s the right fit and criteria for you. Matching potential sellers with determined buyers can be a win-win for everyone!
1.) Off-market forums and groups. Posting my buyer clients’ needs and working with other top agents in the area who may have listings that are not on the market yet can be a productive way to find homes.
2.) Being proactive vs. waiting around. Sure, we could sit around and wait until something comes on the MLS, but this time of year, that strategy doesn’t typically lead to the best possible home for your criteria. That’s why, it’s best to take an even more proactive stance when looking for homes when inventory is low. This includes calling other agents who specialize in certain areas or price points, contacting past clients, posting on community boards looking for anyone who might have a home that fits a client’s needs.
As you can see, being more strategic and having a plan of action that is more proactive can work when inventory is low and competition is fierce. We just find another way!
If you or someone you know is are looking to move this year, please be in touch well before you are ready to start looking so we can do the prep work, position you as the best buyer for whatever home you want to buy and put some of these off-market strategies and others I have as well to work for you!
I'm Anna and I love helping buyers and sellers in and around Ashburn. Let me know if I can answer any questions you may have about the process!
43777 Central Station Drive, Suite 390
Ashburn, VA 20147
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