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. (Read this post by clicking here)
3. Be Prepared to have Realistic Expectations. If you’re looking at lots of homes throughout Seattle, but not finding anything that suits you, you might have an expectation issue.
Here are some of the common issues I see:
- Having champagne tastes on a beer budget. Almost everyone wants a house that is $100,000 more than their budget (myself included!). Balancing location, quality, size, etc are important to do and discuss with your agent.
- Conflicting expectations (husband wants an in-city townhome, wife wants a farm).
- Offers being consistently rejected. Everyone wants a good deal. If your offers are consistently being rejected, it’s time to get realistic about the market. YES, it is a buyer’s market at the time of this writing. However, that doesn’t mean people are giving homes away. You will likely need to change your price range, loan program (for a lower rate/monthly payment), make more competitive offers, or change the expectations on your wish list.
Fact: If your agent told you 5 months, 35 prospective homes and 3 offers ago that you need to consider some compromises, you might circle back to that advice – and consider taking it.