When is the best time to buy a house? With many markets reporting an abundance of homes for sale, and interest rates remaining at near 45-year historic lows, now might be one of the best times in recent memory to buy. While today's real estate market does offer advantages to buyers, consumers still need to be savvy in order to get the best deal they can.
Don't Try to Time the Market: When home prices are lower, it is very tempting for potential buyers to try to wait as long as possible in the hopes that prices will decline even further. This strategy can be detrimental. Once a home is priced to what the current market will bear, buyers will make offers. It is best to work with your sales associate to make an offer based upon the prices at which similar homes in the market are selling for. In a buyer's market, there are more opportunities for negotiations, but making an offer is an important step. If you find a house you love, put your bid in and negotiate. Don't let it sit for another buyer to make an offer.
Take Your Time...To A Degree: Although each local market is unique, the National Association of REALTORS® reports that the national home inventory is at 6.8 months. The increased supply of homes on the market gives homebuyers a great opportunity to evaluate a variety of properties. However, this does not mean that homebuyers should procrastinate. Gauge the time you may have to choose a home by asking your sales associate how long properly priced homes are staying on the market before going into the contract stage. You may find the change in days on the market from last year is just a few days longer.
Homes Are Selling: Don't think you are the only one looking for a new home. Properly priced homes are selling. The National Association of REALTORS predicts there will be more than six million home sales in 2015, expected to be the third-best year in history. Studies such as the recent Homeownership in America Index revealed that that majority of people move based on lifestyle changes, such as new job / promotion, marriage, divorce or family expansion.Watch the Mortgage Rates: Great Rates!!! While it is true that mortgage rates have indeed fallen over the past year, the decrease has been so dramatic as to significantly impact a monthly mortgage payment.
Negotiate on the Incentives: Sellers eager to move their homes may offer you a variety of incentives such as cars, trips, clearing credit card bills for you and other deal sweeteners. If you accept an incentive, make sure it makes sense for you. Instead of having your bills paid, you may opt to have the seller renovate the master bathroom or install new flooring. Of course, you can always ask the seller to just deduct that amount from the list price.