When it comes to home sales trends in the Atlanta market, prices are creeping up, and the number of homes on the market is shrinking. If you’re thinking about buying, you want to be ready to make your move with a competitive offer.
The median sales price in Georgia jumped by 15 percent from March 2013 to March 2014, reaching $152,981, according to the Georgia Association of Realtors. As prices have increased, the number of houses on the market has decreased by 1.8 percent. The trend mirrors what’s happening across the country.
If you’re a buyer taking advantage of still-low interest rates and seeking a home in a tight market, there are some things you can do to give yourself an advantage:
- Prequalify for a loan: You should do this before you even start looking at homes. Once you fill out the appropriate paperwork and show proof of income, the lender will take a look at your credit report, review your assets and debts and tell you if you qualify for a loan. You’ll also find out how much you’re approved for. When you go to look at houses and find one you want to make an offer on, you’ll be ready and able to tell the seller that you’re qualified for a loan.
- Make a strong offer: Now’s not the time to low-ball or second-guess the seller. Offer as much as you can afford and as close to the asking price as possible. This is especially true if it’s a new listing; you never know who else might love it as much as you do.
- Keep in close contact with your real estate agent: When a new house comes on the market, you want to know that your agent will pounce and show it to you as soon as possible. You need to be accessible and know that your agent is, too.
- Be flexible. When you make your offer, try to be accommodating to the seller. If you know they want to stay in the house for three more months, agree to a late closing or offer to rent the house back to them for a month or two. If you don’t like the carpet, don’t ask them to replace it. That’s something you can do on your own once you buy the house.
- Don’t make an offer contingent on selling your home. A seller isn’t going to want to sit around and wait until your home is sold. In a competitive market, you’ll lose out to someone who is ready to buy.
Home sales in a tight market are possible, and you can still snag your dream home if you know what to do.
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