FINALLY!!!! The day has come where the stars and moon have all aligned and you have all of your ducks in a row! You've secured a wonderful lender, an exceptional Buyer's Agent, you've saved ample funds, you have your list of all that you could ever want and desire in a home, and you've found at least six within your preferred area that meet your criteria!! You pick on the phone to contact your agent and quickly provide them with the list. Your agent advises that they're going to check availability and call you back.
Within minutes, your phone rings and your agents voice is no longer draped with enthusiasm! Oh no!!! You quickly pickup on the notion that something's wrong so, with much trepidation, you ask..."what's wrong"? Your agent informs you that of the six properties that you've found, only one is still available and is already in a multiple offer situation. Your agent goes on to explain that the inventory levels are low within your area and, combined with buyer demand and low interest rates, many buyers are finding themselves fighting for homes!
Instantly, your mind toggles back to the latest news report that you heard last night that stated that we were still in a buyer's market....but this certainly doesn't feel like one! What now???
Unfortunately, this is a scenario shared by many buyers in the Coweta County or Newnan, Georgia real estate market today. In fact, as of today, we have a 4.7 months supply of inventory. Which basically means that we're now in what's considered to be a Seller's market! Within the past year, we've sold 1872 homes and currently have 728 on the market! Pretty scary news if you're a buyer. We're averaging selling homes at a rate of 156 per month! However, it doesn't mean that all hope is lost if you're looking to purchase a new home. There are some steps that you can take to help prepare you for battle!
* BE REALISTIC - Be certain that your agent is well aware of the current market conditions and are able to appropriately convey them to you. If homes are selling like hotcakes in your market, then you certainly need to know! This will directly affect your negotiating leverage position! Don't waste your time and risk the possibility of losing the home by submitting a "low-ball" offer...just know that if you want the home, there's a high likelihood that there are other buyers who want it, too.
* BE PREPARED TO PAY YOUR OWN CLOSING COSTS - Now I'm well aware that in previous years, buyers could ask for the world on a silver platter in the form of seller paid concessions and would pretty much get it. HOWEVER.....that was the, and this is now! Keep in mind that it will be up to you to make the best possible offer if you really want the home. This may mean footing your own closing costs (isn't that a novel idea)! If you're a little tight on funds, then you may be able to increase the offer amount by the amount of the closing cost contribution that you're asking of the Seller. If you decide to take this route, be sure to have a conversation with your agent about the possibility of running into appraisal issues.
* MAKE YOUR FIRST OFFER YOUR HIGHEST AND BEST OFFER - This actually goes without saying..... If you want the home, act like it! You may not have the opportunity to provide a counteroffer in the event that another Buyer's offer is accepted over yours. Do not automatically assume that the Seller will come back and make a call for "highest and best". This isn't ground in stone and if there's no call, your low-ball offer will probably be rejected and you'll lose the property.
* LISTEN TO YOUR AGENT* - You've contracted with your agent for a reason....USE THEM! They're traipsing in this market on a daily basis and have successfully navigated through several transactions that are similar to yours. They're trained to know the market and to be able to interpret the information relating to the market. They're going to be your main source of information, so don't be afraid to ask questions.....especially if there's something that you don't understand. Trust me, they want you to find your new home just as much as you want to find it.
Finding a new home does not have to be an arduous task....as long as you're equipped with the necessary tools to reach your goal!
Happy Home Hunting!!!