Ready to move? Great! Ready to move into an area with a sizzling hot housing market like Stapleton Denver? Even better! No, I’m not crazy. That is a great idea. You want to go where others are going. The housing marketing is moving for a reason. Certain positive factors drive the housing market, so you will typically see low unemployment, fast economic growth, beautiful weather or amenities in the area, and great schools being funded by all the building and growth. But just to be sure, let’s define a “hot” market.
What is a “hot” market?
To determine if you are looking at a true hot real estate market, check the months of unsold inventory on the market. If you see that homes are on the market four to six months, then that is considered a “balance.” Any less and it’s considered a sellers’ market. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in March of 2016 that the average for the country was about 5.5 months.
And what are homes doing in Stapleton? The average time on the market was eight days. Eight. Days. We are indeed dealing with a hot market in the Stapleton Denver area. But, don’t panic, here are a few tips to help you navigate through this sellers’ market.
#1 Get pre-qualified for your mortgage.
This is very important. In this hot market, forget even seeing a house without being pre-qualified. Start the process there. Here are a few things to think about when deciding to buy. You need to know exactly how much you can afford because you may have to submit bids above the asking price. You must know the maximum price you can pay. And by pay, I mean afford. You will most likely get into a bidding war, so look at homes that are under your top price. When hiring a mortgage broker, look for someone in this market for years because they know how to help you look best in the eyes of the seller.
#2 Hire the best real estate agent
This is not the time to let your friend, the one who got their real estate license on a whim last week and has never had a sale, help you. You must find a qualified agent with a few years under their belt in this market. If you aren’t sure who to hire, just give us a call and we are happy to find a real estate agent. Your agent is going to help find the right house for you, not just any house. You may feel the pressure to jump on anything available because the market is so short on inventory. The right agent will help steer you into a home you will love and be happy with.
And a reminder if you are buying new. The agent at the office works for the home builder, not you. Get your own agent.
#3 Know where you want to live
This may sound obvious, but a lot of buyers think they know where they want to live, but haven’t done the research. Or even worse, come to the table with no ideas at all. You need to do your research before you start the home-buying process. Go to the different neighborhoods – walk or drive around. If you have kids, check out the schools, compare ratings, or do the research that puts your mind at ease.
If you have the time, go to the area and shop, have lunch, and get a general feeling for the place. You can walk through model homes and open houses without committing to buy in this stage. There should be no pressure at this point. I get it, this stage may be a luxury for some, but if you can make the time, this step can make all the difference for you and your agent. A house will be coming on the market for you. Once you have decided that one area is the place, you can focus on making the best possible offer for the place you know you will love.
Check out this report from US News and World Report. Denver ranks No. 1 in the 2016 Best Places to Live.
#4 Know you will lose a few
I know this is going to be hard advice to follow…don’t fall in love with the house before you even put in the offer. The temptation is to start visualizing yourself in the home, but resist. This is first and foremost a business transaction. Keep your cool and know you may be rejected a few times before that one offer is accepted. Do not get discouraged. And keep in mind the incredible celebration you can have when you are moved into that perfect home.
This advice is short and simple for a reason. When you have the best professionals behind you, a positive attitude, and a willingness to move the instant you need to, you have this all locked up. Good luck finding your incredible new home (not that you need luck now)!
Tricia Houston, Owner
Lending Maven Mortgage
Colorado native and Stapleton resident
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