A year-end report released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service found that home inventory levels in the city of Seattle are at their lowest level since 2016.
So what does that mean for would-be home buyers? Well, it means you can expect some competitive bidding, and that you shouldn’t be surprised if the home you’ve interested in buying has received multiple offers.
Tips for buyers
If you’re in the early-stages of house hunting, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage If you haven’t been qualified by a reputable lender (such as Home Loans Today) you should work on getting that handled ASAP.
- Start looking as soon as you get your pre-approval Keep an eye on the local market and ask your realtor how fast homes are selling after they’ve been listed.
- Have your realtor set up automatic alerts If your agent isn’t getting automatic notifications when new homes are listed, they should be. And, if you want to be proactive and do some online searching of your own, that can’t hurt!
- Stay on top of the market Did a particular home undergo a price reduction? Was it taken off the market, and relisted a few months later? These are two very important things to keep an eye on.
- Put your sneakers on The best thing you can do when you’re house hunting involves getting out there! Try to see as many homes you can, either during open houses, or with your agent.
- Be persistent When you do find the right home, be sure to talk to your agent about making an offer right away. Remember—making an offer is different than making a commitment to buy the home.
- Consider an escalation clause If you’re absolutely in love with a home, you should talk to your realtor about adding an addendum to the Purchase and Sale agreement that’s known as an escalation clause. Essentially, an escalation clause indicates the buyer is willing to pay $X amount over the next highest offer, up to a maximum price of $Y. For example, if you make an offer on a home at $400,000 but you’re willing to pay up to $450,000, your escalation clause can indicate you’re willing to pay $X amount of dollars (perhaps $5,000) more than the next highest bid, but that you’re capping your offer at $450,000. This type of clause can be especially helpful to a buyer when they’re bidding on a home that’s received multiple offers.
Buying a home in a hot real estate market, such as Seattle, can be a little trickier than buying a home in a market that has more inventory, which is why you’ll want to contact Home Loans Today to start the mortgage pre-approval process.