On average, a home would sit on the market for 40-80 days before selling. Today, that average is close to 22 days. And if you’re sitting on a hot market, that can turn into 12-15 days. If you’re on the lookout for a new house, the state of the housing market right now can feel tense, a tad crazy, and a lot more stressful than it once did. Before you go crazy about the idea of getting your new home, here are some tips to make home-buying less stressful.
1. Get Your Pre-Approval Letter Ready
It’s a seller’s market out there, and buyers left, and right are ready to start the bidding war on your dream properties. The moment you start your search, get in contact with a mortgage lender to ask for a pre-approval letter. Not only will this give you an idea of the kind of homes you can consider, but it will place you a step ahead of other bidders.
2. Learn How to Estimate Home Buying Closing Costs
One common mistake that new home buyers make is not learning about closing costs. On average, closing costs can be up to 12% of your offer price. This means if you want to get a home for $365k, your closing costs will be around $43,500, and that’s not including the down-payment. Ensure you have your financials sorted out and have the cash in your hand before you start home buying and placing offers. The amount you need to close the sale can leave the house open to other bidders.
3. Know Your Deal-Breakers
It’s a tough market out there. Still, you want to find a house, you can call home shortly. Before searching and looking at properties, tell your realtor about your deal-breakers. For example, if you’re only looking for a 4-bedroom house, what’s the point of looking at a 3-bedroom? Or, if you’re not interested in a condo, that’s something you should take off your list. Other deal-breakers include things like no pets allowed, no leasing ever, or having an HOA you’ll have to pay.
4. Befriend Your Lender
Your mortgage lender is your best friend in this whole process – even more critical than a realtor! Your lender is the one who will explain the process and help you get approved for a specific amount. They’ll be able to look at your finances and see whether paying off your car loans, student debt, or even credit card debts will get you closer to your preferred price point. Make sure you can reach them quickly for questions and further steps.
5. Work With Experienced Realtors
Finally, don’t ignore the figure of an experienced realtor. While you can search for properties online, a realtor will be able to show you the best deals out there. They might help you recognize raw diamonds, figure out the best-estimated value, and ensure your offer contract represents you and your needs.
Buying a house – especially in a highly volatile market – is never easy. But, if you follow these steps, we guarantee the process will at least feel less stressful, and you’ll be successful in your hunt.
Geraldine Orentas is a guest writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with stethoscope distributor Stethoscope.com