How to Buy When Inventory is Low

When there are plenty of homes on the market and prices are low, buying a new home can seem a little bit like being a kid in a toy store. Which one will you pick? As a buyer, you have more options than you know what to do with. But when inventory drops and prices increase, as it has around the Emerald Coast, each great home you see online could be off the market by the next.


So how do you buy the home of your dreams when multiple buyers are competing for fewer homes and inventory is low?


Get Pre-Approved First


The best way to be competitive among other buyers for a home you really want is to show sellers you’re serious about buying. Make sure you’ve talked to a lender and know what you can afford so you can create a budget and stick to it. Most importantly, go through the pre-approval process and make sure you include your pre-approval letter with every offer. When you make an offer, the seller will know you can get to the closing table.


Know What You Need Most


More than knowing what kind of home you want, you also need to know what’s most important. In tight inventory, it’s even harder to find a home that fits both what you must have and what would be nice to have. Make a list of all the features you want in a home and then focus on what’s most important. It could be the location so that you’re close to work or in the best school district; a specific number of bedrooms; or a yard for your dogs. A home at the right price might not fit every want, but if it fits every need, it may be the one for you.


Put In Your Best Offers


It’s important to know that the best offer isn’t always the one with the highest price tag. But this also isn’t the market to make a lowball offer unless you’ve got good information to back it up. The best thing to do is make your highest and best offer with the fewest contingencies. For some sellers, a quick close or less they’re asked to pay towards closing is more important than knocking a few thousand dollars off the asking price.


Work With a Realtor


In order to find the home that fits your needs, make the best offer, and know what kind of price the seller might accept, it’s always best to work with a real estate professional. Realtors understand the local area and the market. We’re also able to tell you if the price of a home is right for the area or if a home has been sitting on the market for a while and what that might mean for the negotiation process. It’s also our job to negotiate and work on your behalf for any offer you make, but this becomes even more important when a listing receives multiple offers.


Buying a home you’ll love when inventory is scarce isn’t impossible, but it isn’t easy, either. It’s important to be prepared before you even begin looking. Otherwise, the perfect home might go to the buyer with the better offer, and you’ll be left out of a home you love.


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