If you receive our monthly newsletter, you already know we’ve been in somewhat of a Seller’s market for nearly a year now. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t get the perfect Cape Cod home at a fair price! Here are some tips to help guide you.
Know the Market
Be sure you are staying on top of the market, so that when the right home comes along, you’ll not only be one of the first to see it, but you’ll also have a good sense of what it is worth in the current market. The best way to do this is to sign up for Daily Alerts so that you see all new listings that meet your criteria right when they hit the market. Timing is everything with new listings. Nice homes that are reasonably priced go quickly.
Know the House
Once you find the perfect house, be sure to learn as much as possible about it to help you formulate a winning offer. How does it compare to similar homes that have recently sold? This will give you an idea of its TRUE market value. How long has it been on the market? Depending on the house, you may not have much negotiating power with a brand new listing. The Seller is likely going to take their chances that a better offer will come along. But if it’s been on the market for a while, the Seller will likely be more motivated to negotiate and you are less likely to find yourself in a bidding war.
Know the Cost of Upgrades
Homes that have been recently updated typically go more quickly and for top-dollar because many buyers – especially many CAPE buyers who are frequently retirees or second homeowners – don’t want to deal with the hassle of renovations. A home that isn’t perfect but COULD be perfect with some updating and upgrades could be the right house and will likely provide more room for negotiation. Make sure you have a good sense of what the upgrades will cost and make your offer with this in mind.
Don’t sit around waiting for the deal-of-the-century to come along. With inventory so dramatically low compared to previous years, it’s not likely to happen. In the meantime, prices are rising and so are interest rates. So your buying power could be weakening the longer you wait.
As we discussed in our January post, you want to be ready to act as soon as you find the right house. That means having your financing lined up, have all your funds in the right places, and have as few contingencies as possible. In a Seller’s market, many Sellers – especially of new listings – won’t be keen on potential show-stoppers such as a home sale contingency or a lengthy closing date. But as noted above, if the house has been on the market for a while, you may have more negotiating power.
A good Buyer’s Agent can assist you with all of the above. Please contact us for assistance in buying your new home. It would be our privilege to assist you.