Greetings from all of us here at the Vermont Mortgage Company! We have made it into the month of Spring! We can already hear the birds chirping and the Daffodils sprouting. As we were defrosting our office from last weekends deep freeze, we formulated some tips for buying a house in today’s market. It is very much a Sellers Market in Vermont right now, especially in Chittenden County. With that in mind, we have some helpful tips for you to make sure you have a leg up on the competition.
1 – Get Pre-Qualified
As always, a good first start is to get the ball rolling and get pre-qualified for a loan. In the current market it is best to go into the process with all your proverbial ducks in a line. Doing this is a great way to begin seeing what your options are, and how much you can do. There’s no point in finding your dream home and then realizing you can’t even get a loan for it! We are always available to go through the process with you at no cost or commitment.
2 – Get Pre-Approved
Why stop at pre-qualification? A great way to show a seller that you are serious and able to take the house off their hands is to be pre-approved for the loan. Ask your lender for a pre-approval letter to show that your are qualified, which will give you a step over any other potential buyers. In a volatile market it is best to go in strong and quickly. A newly listed house you find on Monday could be sold on Friday!
3 – Escalation Clause
An escalation clause, or a sharp bid, can help when there’s going to be multiple bids on a house. What this means is there is a little extra clause on the contract where you agree to pay a certain amount above the highest bid, up to a certain point. So if you agree to pay $1,000 above the highest bid, and a house you’re looking to buy has bids of 150,000, 151,000 and 155,000, your bid will automatically be 156,000. Just like bidding on eBay, this can help you stay ahead of the game with minimal effort.
4 – Fewer Contingencies
In today’s market, it pays to be an attractive buyer. What can help your bid is if you make a point of working with the seller. If they may need a few days to move out of their home, give them some time to collect themselves. Talk with your agent to see if you can waive or shorten some contingencies to help the process in your favor.
5 – Make your Best Offer
Don’t bank on negotiations. Make sure you make your best offer when you find the dream home. Work with your agent to determine the best price based on the market. In a sellers market, it is not the time to be stingy on such things. Those who hold back fall behind. Don’t let that be you!
We hope this has energized you to begin looking at homes! Be active and prepared, and work with the sellers and your agent. You have many resources available to you, so use them to your advantage. As always, we are here as a resource, and will be happy to help! Contact us today to get pre-qualified, or to have any questions answered, at 802-863-2020. Or pay us a digital visit at vermontmortgagecompany.com!