The real estate market is constantly evolving and changing, and just like life, people need to adapt with these fluctuations. In the not-too-distant past, homebuyers could schedule showings a week ahead of time and had a plethora of homes to choose from—and, most importantly, some time to think. Sellers could also expect to be on the market for a while and to have to keep their home tidy and "show" ready for a month or longer. In today's hot seller's market, homebuyers and sellers must be ready to move and act quickly.
For BuyersEvery buyer needs to have a strong pre-approval in hand, at least. Ask the lender if they can run the file through underwriting, which will show the seller that a buyer is serious and prepared with the loan. Talk with a lender to explore the monthly payments and the amount of money necessary to bring to closing at different price points to discover what sale price point is the most comfortable and possible, in turn helping to set a maximum budget.
Buyers are partaking in risky activities in this market, such as removing inspection, appraisal contingencies and buying homes sight unseen with zero protection. Discuss with a realtor the implications of not having a home inspection or having to bridge an appraisal gap if there is a shortcoming.
It's critical that the buyer feels at ease with the terms of the offer. If it's decided to waive the inspection contingency, understand that you're buying the home regardless of what problems exist. As the offer comes together, consider the maximum budget, what compromises are willing to be made and how flexible the closing schedule can be. Sellers are sometimes asking to remain in the home after closing for lengthy periods, so consider how much time can be given and at what price?
For SellersIf possible, stay in a short-term rental or go on vacation during the showing weekends. Keep the price competitive and list the home at market value. The buyers will speak with their actions and will dictate how much the market can bear. Prepare for multiple offers and have a firm understanding of the key points that are trying to be achieved. Is a high sales price the most important, are you prepared to move in 30 to 45 days at the close of escrow, or is it better to remain in the home for a certain amount of time?
This is the largest purchase or sale most will ever engage in and should be taken seriously, but it doesn't have to be scary or overwhelming. Having thought through ideal scenarios and being ready to make quick decisions will help prevent hastily made decisions. With proper planning, when a buyer finds their dream home, they can act rapidly and wisely. The same goes for a seller who may need to respond to an offer with a short response time or have a clear understanding of how to navigate multiple offers.