Anyone who’s shopped for a home in the last few years knows what a seller’s market looks like. Listings are few and far between. Homes sell at lightning speed. And when you do find a great place, you’re up against a dozen other buyers — forced to outdo and outspend.
Buyer’s markets are just the opposite. Instead, supply outweighs demand, giving home shoppers the upper hand — both when hunting for a home and when negotiating for it.
Buyers have it better than a few months ago
Fortunately, if you’re in a spot that’s not definitively favoring buyers yet, there should still be a few things easing the pressure on home shoppers — at least compared to a few months ago.
For one, higher mortgage rates — which have shrunk affordability significantly in recent months — are whittling down the competition just about everywhere.
Strategies for buying right now
Buyers shopping in today’s changing market will likely have more leverage than they’re used to — but conditions won’t be perfect. Fortunately, agents say there are a few strategies that can help ensure success.
First, don’t feel pressured to make snap decisions — but do act with some level of urgency. While bidding wars are no longer the norm in most areas, you can still expect to face competition.
Should I Buy a Home Now or Wait?
Home prices are beginning to show signs of cooling as buyers have pulled back due to mortgage rates doubling this year, which is starting to convince sellers to lower their sales price.
However, the overall housing supply remains limited as those who purchased homes in recent years at low mortgage rates are staying put. Additionally, many sellers are waiting for interest rates to drop to have a better chance of getting the price they want.
While home prices continue to climb from last year, the price points are not as high as earlier this year, indicating the over-heated housing market is slowing down.
Buying a house—in any market—is a highly personal decision. Because homes represent the largest single purchase most people will make in their lifetime, it’s crucial to be in a solid financial position before diving in.
Use a mortgage calculator to find out how much your monthly housing costs will be based on your down payment and interest rate.
Trying to time the market or predict what might happen next year is not the best homebuying strategy. Instead, it’s better to buy based on your budget and needs. If you find a home you love in an area you love and it also fits your budget, then chances are it might be right for you. However, if you make too many sacrifices just to get a house, you may end up with buyer’s remorse and an expensive albatross you have to offload.