By Ryan Velez
It’s official, the housing market in the U.S. is a seller’s market at the moment, which means plenty of things for people on both sides of the fence to consider. Adam DeSanctis, economic issues media manager at the National Association of Realtors told Black Enterprise “Anything less than 6 months of inventory tilts more in the favor of sellers. More buyers and fewer homes for sale, which in turn pushes up prices as buyers bid against each other.” This may all be well and good, but what can you do now to get the best deal on a house, whether you are buying or selling? Here are some tips to look at.
If you’re a buyer, understand that you can’t undergo this alone. A real estate agent offers many useful services, including disclosing how fast homes are selling and for what price. In addition, with more and more people bidding prices on houses, a real estate agent can help you negotiate a price that will stand out in a market that is quite crowded at the moment. To find an agent in your area, enter your zip code at www.realtor.com/realestateagents.
Of course, a real estate agent can’t do everything for you. As a buyer, you need to keep in mind both your budget and the difference between wants and needs. Chances are you aren’t going to get everything you want, as your budget needs to account for other costs of home ownership, like property taxes, insurance, and utilities. In addition, if listings are scarce, don’t try counter-offering over what you can actually afford.
If you’re a seller, the good news is that if you have a home in good condition and affordable, you’re likely to get more interest than you can handle at first. A real estate agent here can help you filter through the best offers, as well take part in the negotiation process.
If you are selling your home to buy another one, note that due to home prices jumping as much as 40% in the last five years, you may have equity you can use to put a large down payment on another house. However, interest rates are beginning to rise again after historical lows, meaning that you may want to move quickly.