• Chase Gallimore

Five tips for buying a home in a hot market

It's no secret the real estate market is blazing hot all across the 256. We just learned this week that the inventory in Huntsville has dipped below 1,000 homes for the first time since the MLS began keeping track nearly 30 years ago.

All that means you need to be competitive when looking for a new home in our area. We've compiled a list of five tips to help you navigate this HOT market.

1. Know what you're looking for

Before you get serious, spend some time looking over what's available. Scan your real estate apps. Tour open houses. But, don't fall in love at first sight. If you do that, you may overlook some red flags.

Obviously, that's easier said than done. But, the idea is to get a handle on the local market without a lot of pressure. It also will give you a better idea of what you are looking for and where you want to buy.

2. Get financing lined up

Talk to several lenders and choose one you are comfortable with. This professional will help you determine exactly how much you can afford. You are also looking for someone who can provide competitive rates and has a reputation for closing on time. You will be working closely with your lender over the next few weeks, so you want to find one you can trust.

3. Know where you are willing to compromise

The sight of wallpaper or a dated kitchen will send some homebuyers running for the door. The good news is, if you are willing to take on a couple projects, that's less competition for you. Finishes and appliances are easy to change. The floorplan is hard to change, and you are stuck with the location.

Just be sure you're okay with whatever compromises you settle for, because what seems like an annoyance can very well turn into a big problem over time.

4. Get a good REALTOR (like the team at 256 Realty)

Having a good agent is especially important in a hot market. You want someone who constantly keeps up with listings and knows how to make your offer stand out. When making an offer, you want to be as competitive as possible and having a REALTOR who understands the market is vital for winning a bid.

5. Be patient

In a hot market, a buyer might make 10 offers before having a contract accepted. After losing out on several homes, you might be tempted to make a desperation bid or give up. We don't want you to do either of those things.

Bidding too much or making an offer on a home you don't really like is not a good idea. You might be better off not getting a house at all, right now. If the search drags on, you may find the competition lets up.

Finally, it's okay to overpay a little as a homebuyer, especially if you don't plan to sell anytime soon. Over time, the market should make up the difference.

For more on the buying process, head over to our buying page at 256realty.com.

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