It’s a long and detailed article, but I highly recommend you read the article put out by the Seattle Times earlier this month, How to Buy a Home in the Seattle Area: The Survival Guide. It includes data collected from lots of interviews with buyers, agents, and industry players and I really think it’s a great read.
Some of the key points in the article that I loved and can absolutely agree with and endorse:
- Discount brokerages, such as Redfin, are a ‘you get what you pay for’ situation. There is a reason they can offer a discount and that discount may not save you any money in the end by the time you factor in how long it took for you to finally get a house.
- Lenders- pick the right one, and make sure they are local. This is key right now. As listing agents, we give much higher credibility and weight to pre-approval letters from local lenders who have a good local reputation and who we know can close quick and close on time, without surprise delays.
- Look for stinkers. Buyers that have flexibility in terms of doing repairs and are open to condos or houses in not perfect condition, can benefit in this market by buying a proeprty with less competition.
- Make the offer about the seller and what they need. Not all offers are just about price. A good agent will research, connect with and find out what’s important to the seller. Certain offerings such as rent backs, guarantees you are not an investor that will rent the home out, etc. can go a long way to winning in bidding war. Not all sellers are created equal, and not all offers are either. Be creative and make sure your agent knows how to communicate with the other agent effectively.
- Be aggressive and do it early. Don’t take 7 or 8 offer attempts to realize you need to be aggressive. As Mike wrote in the article, “ Home prices in Seattle have increased an average of $226 per day through the past year” so by the time you finish reading this editorial post, and the article itself, that 6-7 minutes is costing you another dollar or two in home price. My point being, the longer your learning curve is as a buyer, and the more offers you need to write before you get that figured out, the more money it’s costing you. So let’s get you educated, armed for success, and ready to buy.
Great read and great article. Check it out.