Traditionally, fall has been a much quieter season for homebuying. However, that changed with the onset of the novel coronavirus. Until the virus passes, we will continue to see record-low interest rates, more virtual home tours, a high buyer demand, and limited inventory. No doubt, this fall season will look much like a repeat of the spring. If you are in the market for a home, below are a few things to consider.
1. Be prepared to pay up: Due to the high demand for home purchases and low inventory, housing prices have skyrocketed. Couple this with record-low interest rates and you have a perfect storm for much higher-priced homes. For the fall season, expect to see multiple bids on the same houses, cash offers, and bids several thousand dollars above the asking price. If you require a mortgage, be sure to contact your loan officer and have them prepare your pre-approvals for a higher amount within your budget in case you need the leverage to compete.
2. COVID-19 on the rise: As anticipated, the pandemic is on the rise again like during the spring buying season. The fall won't be much different. We will continue to see a rise in virtual home tours and more technology to guide us through the mortgage processes in the same way. Additionally, the Fed will continue to add stimulus to the economy keeping interest rates low.
3. Act quickly: Currently, with homes being sold as soon as they are listed, buyers will need a well thought out plan to snap up a home before the mad dash. Mortgage pre-approvals, down payments, cash, and credit all need to be thought out ahead of time to be prepared for action. Hiring a realtor who can help you find pre-market or private listings is another way to leverage a thin inventory market rather than searching the internet on your own.
Bottom line: The more prepared you are with a well thought out plan, the anticipation of what to expect, and good guidance from your loan officer and realtor, the better your chances to compete for a home in the current real estate market.