You may have heard that the midtown Tulsa real estate market is booming and as a result, our inventory is low. This is a perk for home Sellers, because homes that would otherwise be on the market for an extended period of time are now being snatched up.
But, where does that put the displaced home Buyer who has sold their home and is looking for the perfect home to purchase? This is where a home Buyer’s flexibility is key.
When the inventory is low, a home Buyer and their Realtor need to check new listings at the crack of dawn each day. It’s teamwork – whichever one gets their coffee first needs to be on the Internet checking out what’s new on market. Tour the property immediately and be prepared to write an attractive offer.
Give your Lender the power to write an amazing pre-qualification letter. Get your documentation to your Lender – 2 years tax returns, 2 months bank statements, and 2 months of paycheck stubs. Provide documentation about your savings, 401K, gift letters, whole life insurance, documented additional income, child support, etc. OVER-disclose to your Lender. Do all of this before you shop, because you don’t want to be looking at $160,000 homes if you should be looking at homes in the $130,000 price range. A strong pre-qualification letter from your local Lender may be the reason your offer is chosen over another Buyer’s offer.
Save money. Now is not the time to be dining out. Make sure you have enough cash on hand to write a strong earnest money check and that you have money in reserve to impress your Underwriter. Don’t use your credit cards for any reason.
Weigh the options of short-term rental during the shopping process. I know this is not an attractive option for any home Buyer, but you don’t want to be rushed in your home selection process and you don’t want your home selection to be driven by the low inventory. In other words, don’t settle. If the best that you can find within your price range and other parameters is NOT your dream house, it’s better to live with family or consider short-term rental than to purchase the WRONG HOUSE.
Shop online, shop in person – keep notes and remain focused. Don’t fall in love with a property because it comes with a shiny new stainless steel refrigerator and subway tile backsplash. Concentrate on those things you can not change – location, layout, location, home flow, location, back yard size, location. Did I mention that location is the most important factor?
Do a little research about the pitfalls of low inventory in the real estate market. Regardless if you are buying in Tulsa or Wyoming or Seattle, if the inventory is low, Buyers can over-pay or compromise too much. Real estate bloggers have written plenty about this, so google the topic and be informed.
We learned a few lessons when Buyers were scrambling to get under contract during the periods of the $8,000 stimulus credit. Learn from that.
Best advice for home Buyers when the real estate inventory is low: Be prepared with your Lender. Be flexible about your living arrangements so that you CAN wait for the perfect house. Shop diligently. Write an attractive offer. Concentrate on home attributes you can not change, such as location.
And if you are thinking of selling your home when the inventory is low – what are you waiting on?
Content written and published by Lori Cain. 918-852-5036