The North Shore real estate market has experienced a flurry of activity of the past few months. During late winter/spring selling season, there were many homes coming on the market and being sold faster than we’ve seen in years, in many cases with multiple offers.
It would seem that, after the real estate drought of the past several years, the market is finally coming back to life.
Ready to buy or sell? Here are a few rules to follow…at least for today!
1) Recognize that the rules have changed. The point of power has shifted. The buyers used to have the upper hand. No longer. Today, sellers are seeing multiple offers and increased interest. Buyers need to adopt a different approach when making offers (as described in the next few points). Still, sellers shouldn’t discount any offers that come their way, thinking that a better one might be down the road–work with the offer “in hand” because that old real estate saying “The first offer is your best offer” still holds true.
2) Act Fast! Homes are coming on and off the market in a few short days. Buyers, if you see a home that meets your needs and proves to be a good value, put in that offer right away! Don’t “think about it” for too long, or someone else may scoop the home up. And when submitting an offer, forget about low-balling the seller. Before you blink, another buyer may come in with something more enticing. After reviewing comps with your agent, make a reasonable and solid offer to the seller so they know you are serious. Get the deal done quickly before another interested buyer comes along.
3) Know what you want. If you are buying your home with a significant other, it’s essential that you are on the same page. Nothing stalls a home buying decision like the two main parties not being able to agree upon the “perfect” house! And, as mentioned above, time is of the essence today more than ever in purchasing a home.
4) Have a good team around you. This means a qualified and trustworthy real estate agent to get you in to the right homes quickly, since the market is moving so fast. Make sure you have a great lender working for you, who can get you the best rates possible and have a pre-approval letter at the ready so you can put that offer in without waiting for this important information. And, have a great real estate attorney ready to get to work the moment the contract is signed.
5) Sellers – be prepared for the home sale process to go faster than you planned. You could have a significant amount of interest in your home immediately (if it’s priced right!)–one of my sellers was shell-shocked when her home sold in 24 hours with multiple offers! You may have a lot of showings your first week so your home needs to be in showing condition at all times. Offers might come in quickly; however, be prepared to take any and all offers seriously, without thinking that a “better one” might come along.
6) Be prepared to be in a multiple offer situation. The majority of the sales I’ve conducted this year have been multiple offers. It’s more the norm than the exception today. As a seller, realize that you have to consider not just the price the buyer is offering, but the other terms as well, such as: is it a cash deal? are they pre-approved? what percentage are they putting as a down payment? are there other stipulations, such as a home sale contingency? The highest price doesn’t always make the best offer; the cleanest terms do. And, as a buyer, realize that you will be a blind participant in this process. Based upon my experience, I would encourage you to go as high as you are comfortable with (after reviewing comps), because many homes in multiple offer situations end up going over the asking price!
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, realize that the market has shifted…though who knows when the rules will change again!
For more information about buying, selling or renting North Shore real estate, contact me at 847.652.1902 or Stephanie.Hofman@cbexchange.com. Check out my website, Facebook page, or follow me on Twittter at @HofmanOnHomes.
This post is categorized under Real Estate 101, which shares insights, information and advice for current or future home sellers and buyers.