“2020 will prove to be the most challenging year for buyers,” according to Forbes, “not because of what they can afford, but rather what they can find.” The decline in mortgage rates is predicted to average around 3.85 percent, which will only spur on this hot seller’s market. And, of course, this trend is exacerbated in Northern Virginia, where the economy continues to grow, and the entry of Amazon and other large employers will put further pressure on the already low inventories of available housing.
What does this all mean for families who are looking to buy a new home this spring? It means that there will be few homes on the market. Sellers will be receiving multiple offers. And only the best positioned buyers with the most aggressive offers will take home the prize.
What can you do as a buyer in Northern Virginia to optimize your chances to secure that new home for your family?
- Go to showings ASAP
When a house goes on the market in a neighborhood you like, you can’t wait for a weekend open house or to schedule a showing three days from now. Unfortunately, in this market, that house will be sold by the time you are wanting to see it. Many homes are selling on the first day they are available to be shown. This is a must. You just have to go see a home as soon as it is available.
- Do not offer lower than the asking price
The seller currently has all the leverage in this market. So, do not try to put in a low-ball bid. The seller will not take your offer seriously. Why should they? They will be flooded with offers for the asking price—or more!
- Offer a bigger deposit
Most people pay for their housing via mortgages, which means the seller will get paid over time. This is normal. It is perfectly okay. However, one way to stand out among bidders is to offer a higher deposit. Really. Who doesn’t like more money right away?
- Prepare for a bidding war
We have all heard of supply and demand. The 2020 seller’s market in Northern Virginia will have high demand. Therefore, prices will go up. Normally, if you like a house, someone else also likes it. However, low supply means you have fewer alternatives. In this environment, other sellers will be determined. They will not hold back on their bids. You will have to enter the fray with a bid that is not just competitive but attractive.
A seller’s market can be tough. You must be as prepared as possible and have a strategy that works for you. If you are looking for someone with the experience to secure you a home in this type of market, give me a call. I can help you.
Mark Gaetjen: Determined to Move You