01 Jun The Agile Homebuyer

There are a lot of great tips out there for first-time home buyers, but in the 2018 housing market, the most common piece of advice revolves around speed. The homebuyers with the best chance of snagging the starter home of their dreams are the ones who act quickly before and during the sales process.

The homes most appealing to first-time buyers, those that are smaller with a lower price point, are the quickest to leave the market. The National Association of Realtors reports that homes listed on the market this year are going under contract in less than a month. The speed in which these homes are being bought makes it difficult for new homebuyers to find and research these listings in enough time to bid on the properties themselves. Due to this rapidly moving sales process, experts are encouraging more flexibility and agility from first-time buyers.

Creating a list of “wants” and “must-haves” is often the first step in the home buying process. Categorizing your preferences in terms of desire versus necessity can help minimize time spent researching properties that don’t align with your standards. Some real estate experts say to take this one step further. Take a look at your list of “must-haves” and determine if there’s anything on it you can live without. Chances are, you’ll find available homes that have some of what you need, but not everything. If you prioritize a short list of needed features, then narrow that down to two or three, you’re more likely to find a home that matches your preferences and enables you to jump start the sales process before other prospects.

Once the buying process begins, speed is more important than ever. You can increase your chances of getting your ideal home if your finances are in order before making an offer. Much like the car buying process, having your loan preapproved before you walk in the door simplifies the sales process and puts you in a more advantageous position once negotiations begin. Homebuyers are also able to make smaller down payments while still being eligible for loans which is especially appealing to first-time buyers.

In this year’s lightning-fast housing market, speed is of the essence. The agile homebuyer will be flexible in their standards, have their financial resources readily available early on, and will act quickly when the right home is listed. If you can navigate the market like an agile homebuyer, you may find your perfect starter home in 2018.

Bruce Freides