Buying a Home in a Hot Market – NBC 7 San Diego

The housing market is crazy. Prices are up and stocks are down. Home sales hit a 15-year high last year. Some desperate homeowners go to extreme lengths to get their dream home. But with a lot of money at stake, it can be risky. Consumer Reports explains how to navigate the tricky home buying process more responsibly.

According to a recent survey, since the start of the pandemic, 28% of homebuyers have made offers above the asking price and 26% have agreed to buy homes as is.

Many people buy homes without forcing sellers to make repairs. And many are bidding on several houses at the same time, hoping to land just one.

If you can’t afford to go above the asking price, there are ways to make your offer stand out. One way is to get what is called the initial underwriting from a mortgage lender. This takes the standard mortgage pre-approval one step further. Underwriting gets all your financial information verified upfront and a firm commitment for a fixed amount loan, saving you weeks of back and forth paperwork.

There are also ways to sweeten your offer without increasing it. Let sellers stay in the house for a while after closing – potentially for free – or let them keep some of the money in escrow if the deal fails.

And if you really want to swing for the fences, consider a home that may not be on the market.

If you see one you like but isn’t for sale, ask your agent to contact the owner and make an offer. Hey, you never know.

And remember, it’s just a house. Be patient and keep the transaction in perspective to stay grounded.

Some real estate agents recommend checking listings on Thursday evenings, when they say new listings are more likely to come up.

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