Me (Dana Ash-McGinty) and the ASH MCGINTY & Co. team assist first-time and experienced homebuyers in one of the nation’s most competitive (and blood thirsty) markets — the Washington, DC metropolitan area. With the real estate market continuously trending toward rocketing sales prices and even fewer days on market, many buyers are reasonably frustrated. Creating strategies for buying a home, most importantly buying a home in 2021, navigating multiple offers on a house, and building a cooperative environment with listing brokers and sellers. This is a strong suit for ASH MCGINTY.
Below I have provided six homebuyer tips for anyone buying a home in an ultra competitive market. (I’ve also sprinkled in a little knowledge on various African languages, just for fun.)
Get pre-approved and pre-underwritten.
Yes, it’s time to get those financial docs together! I know that the requirements for underwriting is substantial compared to a pre-approval, but you will need to do this work anyway. So, let’s submit the required documents to the lender and finalize your loan. Doing it upfront will allow you to relay to the seller the certainty of your funding. (We are consistently seeing sellers choose an offer for this reason.)
Appraisal gaps are a reality in today’s market.
Although most of our offers will include an appraisal contingency, it is important for homebuyers to be aware that they may still have ground to cover. The reality is that there is a high likelihood of any given home selling above the listed price. (Actually you should expect this.) And… if there is a gap in the appraisal, you may need to be prepared to make up a portion or all of the difference. (Wait what?) Yes, you may need to be prepared to make up that appraisal gap. Therefore, it is a good practice to make sure that the top end of the home search price range is less than the top end of the budget.
Be open-minded to multiple neighborhoods and floor plans.
Of course you may have a preference, we all have preferences. But, you should really consider being open to touring various neighborhoods and floor plans. Open-minded homebuyers often have a less stressful experience than those that are hyper-focused on a particular neighborhood or zip code. You never know– You may discover a great buying opportunity by taking a look at an adjacent area or different floor plan with slightly less interest.
Be open to PMI.
Homebuyers, especially first time home buyers should be aware that most home loans include PMI (private mortgage insurance). Down payments of less than 20% down is more common than you may think. Here’s one advantage of a smaller downpayment– Less of a downpayment will give you more flexibility if you have to cover an appraisal gap. With today’s super low mortgage interest rates, your mortgage payment even including the PMI, will still remain very reasonable.
Offer quickly with your strongest offer.
Even with unprecedented levels of homebuyer competition, there are still some buyers tempted to test how low they can go. This is absolutely not a winning strategy. Instead of testing the market, assume the seller won’t counter and will simply move on to the next offer. Being ready to make your highest and best offer quickly is key to winning a real estate bidding war in an ultra competitive market such as the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Work with an experienced agent you like and trust.
My most important homebuyer tip is to work with an agent that (1) is experienced, (2) you connect with, and (3) you trust. This simple strategy will allow you to work with an agent that truly has your best interest in mind. This agent will be sure you follow the above tips (and more) on your next home purchase.
We take the stress out of buying a home.
Let’s talk! Contact us for assistance with buying a home in 2021.