Some people have all the luck. I’ve known a few of them. We go to one house they saw online – we look at 1 or two comparable homes around Seattle, but they knew the first one was the house for them before they even saw it. They put in an offer, it’s accepted the same day, and they move in 30 days later. Sounds great, right?
However, most recent home buyers have house-hunting stories that are on the other side of the spectrum. Year long house hunts, several offers, waiting for short sale responses, bidding wars (yes, there are bidding wars going on), and frustrating hoops to jump through with bank negotiations are all much more typical.
If you’re wondering how long a house hunt typically takes – I won’t make you read too much longer: it’s about 12 weeks according to a study by the National Association of REALTORS (R).
If you’re currently looking for a home and haven’t found one yet, I’ve put together a series of suggestions to help keep the home search on track. Keeping checking back, I’ll be posting my top 5 suggestions on how to prepare (or re-assess) your house hunt:
1. Be Prepared to Act. (Read this post by clicking here)
2. Be Prepared for Rejection. I run into a lot of buyers who want to beat up the seller on price. That’s fine – I want to help my buyers get the best price possible. But you have to be realistic. The majority of homes in the Seattle area sell within about 5% of their asking price. Sellers have become more realistic and even with bank-owned properties – they send out appraisers and agents to give them a value of the home they are selling (and yes, they are taking the repairs into consideration)…so they know what market value is.
That’s not to say that you can’t negotiate. You can. Just don’t expect to purchase a $300,000 home for $200,000 unless there are significant repairs that would be required to bring the value up to $300,000.
Because of the media-hype of falling prices and multiple offers on the homes that are priced well or in great condition – it’s not uncommon in some areas for buyers to view dozens of homes over as many months, and have several offers rejected before getting into contract.