Ahhh…spring is in the air, flowers are blooming, the weather is nicer and the faint sounds of lawn mowers are filling the neighborhood. We all associate the spring season with renewal and that means change is on the horizon for many families as they are looking to move. The springtime is typically one of the best periods to find homes for sale in South Carolina because prospective homebuyers no longer have to traverse through winter weather and sellers can finally take advantage of the nicer conditions to prep their home for sale. However, the springtime may also be the starting point of a more stressful home hunt because you won't be the only one looking for new digs and that means the competition will rise and the inventory will quickly disappear.
If you are shopping for a new home in a seller's market, which is quite common during the spring season, there are a few things you need to get a handle on in order to survive! But, how do you know if you're shopping in a seller's market? Well, we know that the market varies from place to place, however, keep an eye out for these two red flags:
- Homes listed on the market are selling higher than their asking price
- Houses are selling very quickly and the inventory isn't keeping up with demand
According to some national statistics, the general consensus is that the market is starting to favor sellers instead of buyers. For instance, homes listed for sale in March were moving 16% faster off the market compared to last year. Properties stayed on the market for only 75 days in March, which is 19 days faster compared to February. Additionally, the median list price of $238,000 is 8.2% higher than last year and 2.6% higher than last month! As home prices creep up and majority of the inventory starts to fly off the market, you need to check out these tips to survive a seller's market.
Make It A Priority
You know that the old saying the early bird gets the worm? Well, it definitely applies to home hunting during a seller's market! To prove yourself successful in scoring the home you want, you need to make house hunting your number one priority – not something you just fit in here and there on the weekends. Treat the home hunting process like you were looking for a job – search real estate listings regularly, view homes at the earliest convenience of the seller and follow up immediately if you think it's a fit.
Get Prequalified or Preapproved
Money walks and talk is cheap, especially in a seller's market. If you want to be taken seriously as a prospective homebuyer, than you need to get all your paperwork and finances ready to go. Having a prequalification or preapproval letter can show the seller you can put your money where your mouth is and shows them evidence you are ready to play ball.
Consider The Contingencies
It's quite common for a prospective homebuyer to have a few contingencies with their offer. For example, they will purchase the home if the inspection goes well or if the appraisal squares up. However, in a seller's market, you might make the consideration to drop some of those considerations. While it may be a little risky, sellers are looking for the offers that have fewer hurdles to jump to get to closing faster.
Go In With Your Best
There is very little room for negotiation during a seller's market because there are so many other buyers around willing to pay listing price or more for a home. With that in mind, you may need to put all your cards in on your first offer to snag the home you want. You could certainly start by offering the asking price the first time around, but be prepared to fork over a little more over asking if multiple bids have already taken place. Just keep in mind that you don't want to blow your budget, so make a strong offer but always put your financial stability first.
Expand Your Search
It can be challenging to find the perfect home at a price you can afford in your desired neighborhood but don’t let that stop you from moving. If you are focusing on one specific location, you could be making the home hunt harder than it has to be, so you should be willing to expand your search to nearby areas. Perhaps there's some great deals in another neighborhood or down the street. Don't be afraid to re-draw your search outside of the original area you were looking in.
Use A Realtor
Last but not least, use a realtor during the home hunt! Realtors can provide you with homes for sale in South Carolina that you may have not found on your own and they often have great insight and advice about the market. Connect with a realtor from the Carolina One Real Estate by calling (843) 202-2000 today!