Spring traditionally marks the start of the house hunting season. In San Antonio this spring, the market is Hot!
According to the San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR) home sales are up 8% from this time last year and houses are spending much less time on the market -- only 99 days on average -- down 4% from last year.
Some sellers who have had their houses on the market for months have seen multiple offers come in. Some prospective Buyers have found themselves on the losing end of a bidding war.
Serious home buyers shoule consider the following strategies in this market:
- Get loan pre-approval. Confident buyers know their budget and are able to move quickly. When you find a property you want to buy, it is important to be poised to make an offer. (Most sellers require loan pre-approval to submit an offer anyway.) If necessary, you may have to compete in a bidding contest for your house. Having your loan pre-approved and knowing your budget helps you enter this process confidently.
- Keep your cool. With fewer houses for sale and more buyers looking, the environment is exciting. However, it is important to remain calm. When negotiating in a seller's market, it is easy to think you have to win a bidding war. Really, there is more than one house for everyone -- there is no one perfect house for any of us. If you lose a house in a bidding contest, it can be discouraging. But --
- Don't give up. There are many houses coming on the market everyday. Don't forget to look back at houses that have been on the market a while. Many times, buyers are so focused on new homes entering the market that a wonderful house could be already waiting for them and they only need to make an offer.
Strategies for Sellers in this market:
- Clean up to Sell: If you decide to put your house on the market, invest in making it attractive to potential buyers. We talk about bidding contests for houses, but the truth is the houses that get multiple offers are ones that have great curb appeal, are clean, de-cluttered and easy to show. These are homes that buyers can see themselves living in.
- Have realistic expectations: Homes in higher price ranges don't sell as quickly as lower priced homes, even in this market. If your home needs a lot of work or is in a higher price range, you need to ask your real estate agent about the abosrption rate for your neighborhood. That will give you a more realistic idea of how long it may take to sell your home.
- Price it right: Unless you do not have to move, price your home right the first time and it will sell faster. If you need to move, let your realtor know so that she can figure this into your strategy for pricing and marketing. If you are not in a hurry, take the time to prepare your house for the market, price it using the available comparables for your neighborhood and work with your realtor to devise the best marketing strategy for your house.