We’re sure everyone has heard by now – Omaha has a very competitive housing market right now. And it’s not just Omaha, the entire country is experiencing a more competitive market, and has been for while now.
While house hunting in this type of market can be more stressful, we still think it’s better to try to buy now than wait. Why? Because real estate is a long-term investment. Even if you’re paying more for a home than you’d like, home values should continue to increase. This means that waiting even a year to buy that same home may cost you tens of thousands extra. Plus, while the real estate market is incredibly hard to predict, many experts (including us) can see this competitive housing market continuing for a while – maybe even years.
Questions to Consider Before House Hunting in a Competitive Housing Market
Even if we’re still encouraging our clients to buy homes, we want them to know what buying in this type of market looks like. And, frankly, if some of the questions below scare you away from buying a home right now, that’s okay. We’d rather you find out now before spending months searching for your dream home.
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Are you willing to pay over the asking price for a home?
Depending on your price range, many homes in Omaha are selling for $20,000-50,000 over asking price. If you are willing to pay over the asking price, it’s important to discuss how much you’re willing to pay over ahead of time.
Are you willing to waive the home inspection?
Due to the competitive housing market, many sellers are asking buyers to waive the home inspection. This could mean potentially buying a home with unknown issues.
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Are you willing to pay the difference between the appraised value and purchase price?
Lenders are unable to offer loans that are above the appraised value of the home. Generally, the appraised value and asking price are very close and this isn’t a problem. However, with many homes selling for well over the asking price, many buyers are having to put down more money in cash than expected.
Can you be flexible with the closing date?
Before making any offers, it’s important to determine if you can be flexible with the closing date. Why? Because you should use any advantage you can when making an offer.
Are you willing to pay the seller’s fees for them?
This isn’t an uncommon way to strengthen offers in a competitive housing market. Before you begin house hunting, determine whether you’d be willing to pay a portion or all of the seller’s fees.
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Are you open to living in different areas of town?
You may be able to find the type of neighborhood and house you’re looking for in a different part of town. With so few homes for sale, you greatly increase your chances of finding a home if you provide your real estate agent with multiple areas of town to focus the search in.
Are you willing to make offers on multiple homes before having one accepted?
Right now, many buyers are treating house hunting like a full-time job. They are making time to see homes right when they’re listed and they know there’s a good chance they’ll make offers on 10+ homes before one is accepted. If that doesn’t sound like something you can or want to do, then it may be better to put your home search on hold.
Ready to start the mortgage process? Our online application takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes to complete. Once it’s submitted, we can have you pre-approved for a loan in just a few hours.