Updated: Feb 17
The real estate market is getting a lot of buzz these days. Stories of happy (if not shocked) sellers, interest rates in the 2%s, and multiple offers - it really is a great time to sell. But what about when it comes time to buy?
Buying a house right now can be daunting and it's not always easy. This is not a market for the faint of heart. Inventory is low and there are often multiple offers a buyer has to compete with. And sellers can be nervous about finding a house once their house sells. But there are tools and strategies that work - from tips to help you be well-positioned in making your offer, to new resources available through my Keller Williams office, to creative strategies I am employing to make sure no one ends up without a home.
Let's look at how to make this easier than it might seem.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP YOURSELF?
A flexible buyer is a desirable buyer! The more flexibility you can offer a seller - on closing dates, possession dates, etc., the better. Sellers are nervous too, and the more you can allay some of their concerns, especially when it comes to their timeline to find a house, the more you will stand out in a multiple offer situation.
Pre-approvals are not all the same. Get pre-approved from a solid, local lender. Listing agents like to see pre-approvals from lenders they know and trust, because it gives them confidence in your offer. When there are multiple offers to choose from, sometimes it can literally come down to which lender is behind the offer. I work with several great lenders in Kansas City who not only take great care of my clients, but are recognized as dependable. More than once, the lender has made the difference. And, the further you can take your pre-approval through the process PRIOR to making an offer, the better. This means providing W2s, bank statements, tax returns, etc., in addition to just completing the application.
Be ready to move quickly. This means getting out to see homes quickly once they hit the market, and can also mean quick decisions if the seller has a short offer timeline. Know going into it that things may move quickly. You can count on me to be in communication with listing agents and keep you informed as to what will be expected.
HOW CAN BEING A CLIENT OF KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY PARTNERS HELP YOU?
I am fortunate to be part of the largest and most productive real estate office in Kansas City. With over 600 agents, we do an incredible amount of networking. I use my resources daily to help my clients in a variety of ways, one of which is private office exclusive listings. This means I have access to homes for sale that are NOT IN MLS (the multiple listing service that feeds all the public sites you see). These are homes you will never find when you search public sites or work with other brokerages. They are unique to my office. This may not be the norm in how homes are sold, but they can be used in certain situations that help both buyers AND sellers who have unique situations.
HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
I am always driven to achieve for my clients, and today's market demands more than normal. We have to be creative and be on our toes at all times, and know that the old way of doing things may not be the best option. From our first conversation, I coach my clients through what they need to understand about competing in this dynamic market, understand their goals and priorities, and find strategies that work for each individual situation.
MLS is the main source of listing information, however, it's not the only source. I discussed my Keller Williams office above and how private listings provide another source of homes. In addition, I am personally part of multiple agent networking groups that share buyer needs and potential seller options, creating matchmaking solutions that may not otherwise be possible. This includes homes that may be coming soon to the market, as well as off-market options, where a seller may be willing to do a one-time showing.
Additionally, there is a more official "coming soon" feature in MLS that agents who are members of the MLS have access to (not visible to the public). I always include this in my process for buyers to know what's coming and help us plan ahead for showings.
Sellers need to have a plan BEFORE they put their house on the market. One obvious option is finding your new home before you list. Another might be temporary housing for awhile until you can find the home of your dreams. If you haven't found your new house and temporary housing is not your thing, we need to manage your listing in a way that allows time for you to find something new - and that can often mean negotiating a longer closing timeline than is typical, or exploring a reverse contingency. You've probably heard of a buyer contingency, where a buyer agrees to buy a house contingent on them being able to sell their house. Think of that in reverse - a seller contingency is where a seller agrees to sell their house contingent on being able to find their new house. That is not the norm, but it is an option - one tool in the toolbox - and an approach I advise in certain situations.
So, there are some different rules of engagement these days, but with some creativity, planning and expert guidance, buyers can absolutely take advantage of the great mortgage rates and sellers can take advantage of the great prices. Buyers need to bring their A game and make quick decisions, and sellers need to plan ahead. If you're considering a move and want to take advantage of this market, I'd love the opportunity to talk with you about your personal situation and advise you as to how we can achieve your goals. Call me at 913-269-0900!