How to Buy a House in Today’s Crazy Real Estate Market

How to buy a home in today's crazy real estate market, with a photo of Matt and Chelsea sitting in front of a Welcome Home sign.

If you’re thinking about or actively trying to buy a home in Central Florida, you’ve probably noticed how few homes there are for sale, how quickly they’re selling, and the rising prices. So today we wanted to discuss how to buy a house in today’s crazy market.

The three things you should be doing if you’re trying to buy a home are:

  1. Get preapproved by a mortgage lender.
  2. Be ready to act on a new home listing.
  3. Work with a REALTOR®.

But first, let’s cover a few data points for what’s happening in real estate as of writing this post.

What’s going on our market right now?

In March, the Wall Street Journal reported “there are more real-estate agents than homes for sale in the U.S.” . We’re facing a low inventory of homes not only in Central Florida but across the country.

In our market specifically of Clermont, FL, the number of new listings has been fairly consistent (~150+ every month), but since buyer demand is so high, these homes aren’t staying on the market very long – keeping the inventory (or supply) of homes low and values high.

Beginning in September 2020, the median days on market (the number of days until a home was under contract) was consistently under 17 days on market. It was normal in our market for a home to be on the market for at least 2 weeks before going under contract. If a home hadn’t had any offers by then, we would often tweak a listing by updating the price, virtually staging some rooms, or hosting an open house to stimulate demand.

Now, in May 2021, the median home is going under contract in just 4 days. And we’re definitely feeling that! Many of our team’s listings this year have had dozens of showings and multiple offers within the first 48 hours of being on the market, often above list price. One listing in particular had 69 showings and 23 offers within the first 48 hours on market!

Since the new normal in our market is homes going under contract within the first few days on market, there are a few things you should be doing to make sure you don’t miss out on your dream home when it gets listed. Read on or watch the video below for how to buy a house in Central FL right now – or anywhere in the U.S.!

3 Tips for How To Buy a House in Today’s Real Estate Market

1. Get Pre-approved by a Mortgage Lender

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage has always been our go-to first step in the buying process. But it’s so much more important in today’s market to have it done before you start looking at homes since many houses are selling within the first 48 hours on the market – and getting preapproved often takes more than 48 hours. 

What is a pre-approval? A pre-approval lets you know what your buying power is (how much house you can afford), and it shows sellers of the homes you’re looking at/making offers on that you’re serious and can actually purchase their house.

The pre-approval process will look at things like your credit report, down payment amount, and debt-to-income ratio to determine what home prices you can afford to look at – including estimating your monthly mortgage payment to make sure it’ll comfortably fit within your budget.

Don’t have a lender? Visit MattAndChelsea.com/Lender-Partner to learn more about and get pre-approved with our lender partner, Lisa Meyer. 

2. Be Ready to Act on a New Listing

If you’re like us, you’re almost constantly looking online to see what new homes got listed for sale today. You may also notice that the cute home you saw as a new listing yesterday is already under contract before you got to see it – what gives?!

In our market nowadays, time is of the essence! When you see a new home for sale that you’d love to see in person, be ready to find a way to look at that home ASAP. As mentioned above, many homes in our market are getting dozens of showings and multiple offers within the first 48 hours of being listed for sale.

Moving from out of the area and can’t see the home in person? Ask a local trusted family member, friend, or your REALTOR® to look at it in person for you, video chat while they’re there, or take video clips for you. We’ve helped many out-of-area clients buy a home they’ve never seen in person before by FaceTiming with them, attending their inspections, and more.

And like Beyonce says, if you like it you better put an offer on it. If/when you decide to make on offer on a home, it definitely helps you to show the seller that you’ve already seen the home in person (or via a trusted friend/family member/real state agent). Sight-unseen offers still have a chance to be accepted, but that poses a great risk to a seller since the buyer may choose to back out later when they do visit the property.

3. Work with a dedicated, full-time, local REALTOR®

This is the most important thing you should be doing if you’re trying to buy a home in today’s market. And you shouldn’t just choose any real estate agent to represent you – the experience and reputation of your agent matters.

Our team knows what it takes to write a competitive offer to stand out (and potentially win!) in these ever-increasing multiple-offer situations. We’ve been able to get some of our buyer clients’ offers accepted even when we weren’t the ones offering the most money. It’s all about knowing the different tools available for our buyers, as well as being known to other agents as local REALTORS® that get homes sold smoothly and consistently.

And that’s it! Those are the three top things for how to buy a house in today’s market: get pre-approved to know what you can afford and show sellers you’re serious when making an offer, be ready to see the home as soon as it’s listed for sale, and work with a trusted and experienced realtor to help you make the most competitive offer possible. 

Searching for a Central FL REALTOR®? We’d love to help.

If you’re trying to buy (or sell!) a home and need a trusted Central Florida real estate expert, contact us today! We would love to get you into your next home. 

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