Home sales are expected to heat up in the Cincinnati area this spring and summer.
Randy Tucker/Enquirer Media
In today’s hot housing market, there just simply aren’t enough homes to go around.
According to real estate market tracker, Zillow, the inventory of homes for sale in the Cincinnati area dropped 10 percent over the past year.
The shortage of listings has led to fierce competition for homes that are still on the market, forcing buyers to act fast and come prepared to make an offer or risk walking away empty-handed.
“It’s still crazy out there. I’m insanely busy,” said Donna Deaton, a Realtor at RE/MAX Victory in Liberty Township. “Because inventory is so low, we’re still seeing multiple offers on a lot of properties, and homes are selling even before they’re listed. Sometimes sight unseen.”
Still, experts say there are several strategies that home buyers can employ to improve their chances, even in such a robust sellers’ market.
Five tips for success in a seller’s market
1. Act fast
Once you’ve determined the type of home you want, location and price range – pull the trigger and make an offer. Over-analyzing a home purchase in a seller’s market can cost you, according to Pamela Kurtz, a Realtor with the Chabris Group at Keller Williams Seven Hills in Kenwood.
“Once you find a home that meets your qualifications, make a commitment,” Kurtz said. “You have to ask yourself how bad do you want it because there are other people out there who are going to want it just as bad, if not more.”
2.Make your best offer
Offering lower than asking price is standard practice in a buyer’s market with lots of available inventory. But trying to score a deal in today’s market could cost you the home of your dreams.
“Offer what you’d be willing to pay, and make it your personal best,’’ said Jane Ashcraft-West, a Realtor at RE/Max Affiliates in Florence, and a 29-year veteran in local real estate. “There is no second chance most of the time with a really hot listing that is updated and ready to go.’’
3. Come with cash or pre-approved loan
Home buyers who enter the market prepared to make cash offers or have at least been pre-approved for a mortage loan are in a much stronger negotiating position than those who don’t, saidRebecca Weber, a Realtor at Huff Realty in Fort Mitchell.
“Cash totally gives you an edge because most sellers don’t want to deal with the possibility that your loan might not come through,” Weber said. “If you can’t bring cash, at least get pre-approved. If you’re going out to look at property, and you haven’t spoken to a bank, it’s a waste of time. The home will sell before you can get financing.”
4. Try a personal letter to the seller
Selling a home is just as emotional as buying one, especially for sellers who have lived in the home a long time and have raised their kids there. Sellers want to know a potential buyer will take care of their precious home, said Chris Secaur, a Sibcy Cline Realtor.
“What I tell buyers, especially if they’re in a multiple-offer situation, is to write a “love letter” to the seller. I’ve seen it work. It’s helped, even when their offer wasn’t the highest, the seller picked the letter writers because they liked them,” Secaur said.
5. Don’t walk away.
The competition for homes in a hot housing market can be disheartening, pushing some buyers to the sidelines even when they find the home of their dreams. But even if you’re faced with multiple offers from prospective buyers who keep bidding up the price, chances are you may face an even more challenging home-buying scenario if you step away, said Tim Mahoney, a Sibcy Cline vice president and sales manger in the Montgomery office.
“If you walk away from a listing and it sells, the next one might sell for more than the previous listing because the comps (comparable sales) in the area will be higher,” he said. “As long as the market is appreciating, and as long as there is this kind of demand, it’s better to move now than later.”
Read or Share this story: https://cin.ci/2qWqQxe