Tips for Buyers in a Tight Market

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Central Oregon Association of Realtors has just made the prediction that the real estate market in Central Oregon is going to continue along as it has for the last couple of years. We will continue to see low inventory and rising prices as demand outpaces supply.  Currently, we have just over 2 months of inventory in the Central Oregon market.  Conventional wisdom dictates that a healthy, balanced market has 6 months of inventory available.  

There is no doubt that it is a good time to sell a home in Central Oregon, but what if you are trying to buy a home in this rapid market?  Whether you are looking to buy your first home, or your 20th, there are a few things that you can do to make buying a house less painful and more successful.  Increase your chances of getting your dream house in a competitive housing market by following the tips below.  

Get prequalified, or better yet, pre-approved for a mortgage.

I suggest that a buyer's first step in any market is to get pre-approved for a mortgage.  It is no fun to find the perfect home, then find out that you can't get a loan.  Sellers are savvy, and they are looking at pre-approvals when they are considering multiple offers.  No one wants to take their home off the market only to find out that prospective buyers can't qualify for a loan. You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more desirable to the seller.  I often have lenders call the listing broker when I have submitted an offer.  That way, the sellers can be reassured that the buyer is serious and qualified. 

Stay in close contact with your real estate agent.

The first thing I do when I sit down at my computer every morning is look at new listings and homes that have come back on the market, then I continue to check that list throughout the day.  If I can't get in contact with a buyer when the perfect homes comes on the market, they could miss an opportunity. Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market — if it’s a great home, it will go fast.

Keep looking for new listings on your own. 

Browse sources such as, Zillow, and local real estate listing sites. Set up alerts for the neighborhoods and characteristics you’re looking for. Drive through your target neighborhoods, and if you see a home you like for sale, send the address and listing agent’s name to your agent, who can schedule a showing for you. While I am always on the lookout for homes for my clients, I may miss or dismiss a home that turns out to be perfect for you.  

Be ready to make a decision.

Spend plenty of time in advance deciding what you can afford and must have in a home so you won’t hesitate when you have the chance to make an offer. 

Bid competitively.

Your first inclination may be to start out offering something less than the asking price, but if you go too low in a tight market, you will likely lose out.

Keep contingencies to a minimum. 

Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move can make your offer unappealing. Remember that, if the market is tight, you’ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly. You can also make an offer more appealing if your current home is already in Escrow.  Sellers know that they aren't going to have to wait for an offer that may or may not come in. You can also talk to your lender about getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period. 

But don’t get caught in a buying frenzy. 

Just because there’s competition for a home doesn’t mean you should buy it. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don’t neglect inspections that help ensure the house is a sound investment.


Click Here to view Central Oregon Association of Realtors - 2017 Report