Original article by Julian Michael, John L. Scott, Bellevue WA

5 Tips to Securing Your Next Home

Hi! How’s your house hunting going? Did you ‘find’ the ideal home? Great, now what!? This article focuses on ‘Securing’ your next home rather than just finding your next home, which many people do not focus on enough. Especially in today’s market it’s vital to have a strategy and be ‘Buyer Ready’ from ‘Day1’ as we say at John L. Scott. Enjoy this piece and other original content and if you’re looking for an agent who cares and values knowledge, feel free to reach out. – Julian

1 / Proper Strategic Planning

This is both with your partner or spouse, and with your agent. It’s vital to sit down with you agent and with your partner to know what you’re looking for and that when you find it you’re willing to make decisions, and fast. These decisions are based on proper strategic planning and knowing your needs and wants and prioritizing these as well. Being on the same page and being prepared and ‘Buyer Ready from Day1’ is essential!

2 / Get Your Finances Working

This is more than just knowing your budget and getting pre-approved, but knowing your limits, what you can afford to spend for upgrades or possible escalating offers. Do you know what you can afford for a down payment? What if the sales price escalates with multiple offers?…are you prepared to go $20,000 or $50,000 over the listing price, and in cash!? It’s happening in many markets, especially the hot markets. For example, if you’re looking in the $550-575,000 range and you submit an offer at $550,000 on a home listed at $560,000 in a hot market with multiple offers, the listing could potentially sell for $590,000 to $620,000 perhaps! Thus, you may want to look at homes $20,000 to $40,000 below your ‘cap’ or else you could potentially be looking at houses above your budget based on how the offer situation comes in. In the King County (Seattle and Bellevue included) homes are flying off the shelf within 80% of the time within 30 days!! (vs 30-35% typically)

3 / Hire a Strong Negotiator

Everyone knows a real estate agent, but only a small percentage of these are strong sales and marketing professionals who are strong negotiators as well. Many agents come from a variety of different backgrounds so make sure your agent is a good fit with your goals and wishes. Be sure you have an agent on your side who knows a variety of negotiation tactics and timelines as well. Fact: Every real estate engagement is different and you want the best one for your particular home purchase.

4 / Marketing Knowledge of Your Target Neighborhood

More than just knowing the neighborhood’s amenities and streets, but knowing how homes are selling and the behaviors going on in the marketplace. Something I heard the other day was a buyer who had looked at houses a few months ago with a certain budget (let’s say $750,000 for this example), and now he and his spouse are back in the market. They’re still looking for the same amenities in the same neighborhood, except home sales prices have risen 5% since then and inventory is nearly half of that time! Thus, his ‘Buying Power’ (i.e. his workable budget) just shrunk about $50,000 and he had a difficult time swallowing this. Thus, it’s important to know the market and have a smart, reliable agent working with you who is constantly studying the market while working with his clients.

5 / Be Patient, Persistent and Present

Be Patient. It might take more or less time than you expected. Some people are able to find their next home within a couple weeks, for some it may take several months. Many times this may depend on your situation but ideally patience will be needed.

Be Persistent. Sometimes you’ll lose a home you really wanted, but don’t give up. You and your agent will likely do a bit of research and constantly, all very worth the time to secure your next home.

Be Present. This is referring to being Present in today’s market. If you were looking several months ago the market may have shifted. Offers will carry different weight,, clout and strategy depending on the property. Be Present in realizing what is most important to you currently and stay in the moment so awareness is paramount.