To many buyers in the US and in Idaho, buying a house in a hot seller’s market with low inventory can feel like an uphill battle because of the stiff competition. However, there are steps you can take to make the process smoother, increase your chances of securing the winning bid, and buying a new home. Even though the market is hot, it is worth it to take a little extra time and make a plan for buying a home.
Work with a trusted agent
Working with a real estate agent you trust is the best way to ensure you have a great home buying experience. Their job is to be your research assistant and ally at the negotiating table. Agents will help you submit the best possible offer and help you navigate the entire process.
If you are looking for new construction, find an agent that has expertise in buying building lots and has connections to builders in the area. If you qualify for a VA loan, look for a real estate agent who is also a veteran and has helped others through the VA system. If you are a luxury million-dollar buyer, find an agent that is comfortable and experienced in helping their clients with million-dollar luxury homes and subdivisions. Agents that work on a team with multiple other agents are able to share experience, listings, and winning tips for both buyers and sellers, making the process smoother and a little easier.
Do your research
It seems like everybody wants to get a piece of Boise living, and for good reason. Boise and the Treasure Valley is a great place to live. But beyond that, where exactly do you want to live in this area? What size homes are in the area? What will future development look like? Are schools important? What will your commute look like?
It is worth it to take a minute and evaluate where you want to live in the area and plan accordingly. Close to downtown or the hottest new subdivisions may be desirable, but you have to be realistic about what suits your needs. More on that down below.
Prepare for competition and have a plan
In a competitive seller’s market like Boise with low inventory, it may take a little time to secure the winning bid. You may also get beaten out by other offers multiple times before securing the winning bid. There are many ways to help prepare for buying a house, but one of the best is to get pre-approved. It shows that you are a serious buyer and that you are making a genuine offer.
One of the most important things you can do as a buyer is to have a plan and stick to it. This starts before you start seriously shopping for a house and making offers.
First, know your budget. Say your loan approval is $500-$650k. In a market where prices are high, inventory is low, and bidding wars are common, don’t narrow your search to the upper end of your range. If you want a home is $640k, the final price will quickly get more expensive than you can afford. Start looking at the bottom and middle of your range so you have wiggle room in a bidding war.
This leads to a second point: wish list priorities. Lowering your price point to the lower end of your loan approval amount can come with some concessions on your wish list. Find you what is truly important in a house: square footage, beds/baths, lot size, schools, commute. Other things like hardwood floors, pool, the extra garage bay, and the hot new subdivision may have to wait until you buy your next house. When you find a house that suits your most important needs, that’s what you should make an offer on.