Austin’s housing market is smoking hot right now, and it shows no signs of cooling off any time soon. In May 2013, the number of Austin home sales set a new record, besting the tally of May 2012 by a record 29%. When the number of interested buyers outstrips the inventory of available homes, you’re dealing with a seller’s market. While this is great for brokers and Austin homebuilders, how can the buyer cope with the imbalance?
It’s only natural. Unless you’re actively engaged in searching for a home, you likely have little interest in the daily fluctuations of the real estate market. If you’re not up to speed on the current inventory of Austin homes for sale, you’ll need to trust your agent to know what’s going on.
Come Up with a Fabulous Offer
In a hot market, it’s not unusual for Austin-area home sellers to receive multiple offers daily. The trick here is to ensure that yours stands out. To make it past first base, you must:
- Not appear cheap. When the supply of homes for sale is scant, offering less than the asking price could strike you out in a hurry. If you really want that house, go higher.
- Show good faith. A large earnest offer will attract the seller and put you in a favorable light.
- Don’t get greedy. When homes are going like hotcakes, don’t blow your chances by asking the homeowner to throw in the washer, the dryer and the kitchen sink.
- Be willing to show preapproval papers and proof of sufficient funds for a down payment that could be a little larger than you initially expected.
- Give the seller a break. Don’t insist on an ironclad move-in date. Allowing the owners some extra time to vacate might give you an edge over the competition.
The Broker is Your Friend
Encourage your buyer’s agent to contact the listing broker at the earliest opportunity. The lister knows what the seller wants and should be glad to offer tips on submitting an acceptable offer. An agent who remains in close contact with the broker can help you revise your offer quickly if necessary, thereby saving you from entrapment in a vortex of counteroffers while someone else beats you to home base.
Is the home of your dreams scheduled for public display this weekend? If so, make an appointment to see it today. A desirable residence may find itself in contract long before the agent has unlocked the open house doors.
It’s not just for the Boy Scouts any more. In the current Austin real estate market, homes sell quickly, and a well-prepared homebuyer who makes an attractive offer in a timely fashion should be a happy homeowner in the end.