If there’s a shortage of properties available in the town or neighborhood you’re interested in, it can seem kind of hopeless. But don’t despair, because that lack of homes is just the spark you need to get creative. It’s time to own your home search. And your real estate agent can help you with that.
Owning your home search means finding a path to getting the house that you want, even if it doesn’t have a FOR SALE sign on the front lawn yet. Here are a few proactive steps you can take when it looks like there isn’t much inventory available to you:
Do your research.
If you have an idea about where you want to live and there aren’t any properties for sale in the area, your first step is to drive around the neighborhood and figure out which properties appeal to you. What type of home? What size? Do you want a lot of yard space? Jot down some of your favorite features so you can …
Find a match.
Write down the addresses of the homes that most appeal to you. Your real estate agent can keep track of the features that you love the most and identify similar properties in the area in terms of property size, square footage, and number of bedrooms and baths. If nothing similar surfaces, your agent might be willing to …
Go the extra mile.
Try something unorthodox. Sometimes when there is little inventory available, people who might otherwise wish to move get scared off by a lack of understanding of market conditions. Ask your agent for a thorough tutorial that will explain the nuances of your target neighborhood, including which houses might have sold recently and for what amount of money. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent whether he or she is willing to write letters to homeowners in your target area asking what it would take to encourage them to sell and explaining the type of terms you are willing to offer. This can help you figure out whether there are homeowners in a neighborhood who might be willing to sell to a motivated buyer.
What’s your bargaining chip? Is it money? Is it time? Being able to offer top dollar for a home means that you will be an attractive buyer if a home comes up for sale. If you aren’t in a hurry to move, you might have the luxury of waiting until a home becomes available in your target market; your agent will be on the lookout for properties that match your needs.
While you wait for the home you want, get all of your paperwork in place so that you’re ready to move as soon as you find what you are looking for. Get preapproved for a mortgage by a qualified lender and make sure to educate yourself about the ins and outs of making an offer, negotiating, and closing a sale. Preparation is your best asset when you decide to buy a new home. Good luck and happy house hunting!