The Colorado Springs real estate market is really beginning to heat up. This past weekend I showed property to out of town buyers. After we had seen everything from their top choices, we had 2 new listings pop up. We went and saw them both, and then wrote an offer on one of them. Trouble was, BOTH of the new listings had other offers already! We were topped out on price, and the buyer went home without a house. It’s all good, we were probably a little early for their schedule anyway, but it shows what happens as the market begins to tighten up.
I also worked with some buyers who have been considering new construction. Another price increase was happening with their favorite builder, and both time and money were beginning to be an issue. The builder had new lots available, but come to find out, there were only a couple that would even work for the floor plan they wanted. We ended up writing their contract and getting a good lot, but based on how lot selection works in this neighborhood, they got the last lot in that filing that will work for that home.
When the market begins to heat up, here are a few buyer tips:
- Make sure your loan is in good shape before you shop, so that your offer will be considered stronger than others. Get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified, with a reputable local lender such as Dana Hines at Peoples Mortgage (719-548-5150) or Debbie Havens at Academy Mortgage (719-491-2499). Lending rules are changing constantly, so stay in touch with your lender.
- Have your job, current house and other issues thought through so that you are really ready to ‘pull the trigger’ when the right house comes up.
- Write a strong offer up front. You don’t know who else has already seen the house and is also preparing to make an offer.
- Think in terms of what the seller is looking for. When a house is vacant, sellers like quick closes. All sellers prefer not to have to fix a lot of things. Some sellers are up against a mortgage and don’t have any cash, and every penny counts. With occupied houses, the seller may really want a rent back or a stretched out closing to give them more time to get moved. Ask!
- Be decisive. While you are ‘thinking about it’, someone else may well be doing something about it.
- Don’t hang on too tight to the last penny. While that extra $1,000 is real money to the seller, it may only cost you $4.50 a month at 3.5% interest rates. What are you going to do with the money you saved if you don’t get the house you really wanted?
- Know the market. Colorado Springs homes are selling on average at close to 98% of asking price. While an individual property may have room for a larger ‘discount’, a well priced property may sell for full price, and even above if you need things like closing costs, or if there are competitive offers. See www.LivingColoradoSprings.com/market-conditions for more details on the Colorado Springs market.
- Make sure your profile in the MLS system is sending you the right homes, so you are are seeing new listings that match your specifications as they come up.
- Make sure you have an experienced buyers agent (like me 🙂 ) to help you!
- Buckle your seat belt, I think we are in for a bumpy ride this spring.
Questions? Call Rick Van Wieren at 719-331-7675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org about your next home.