How to Navigate the Real Estate Market and Find Your Ideal New Home for Sale

Buying a new home is a big step. It’s important to find the perfect house for you and your family. This means deciding what features are essential to your dream home. For instance, if you have young kids, avoiding houses with bedrooms on different levels is smart. It’s also important to understand how real estate markets work. This helps you become a more empowered buyer or seller.

Know Your Budget

If you’re looking for a home for sale near Woodstock, GA, you’ll want to research to ensure you have a realistic idea of what you can afford. This includes considering your potential costs, such as mortgage loan interest and fees, insurance, property taxes, homeowner’s association fees and more. It would help if you also had an estimate of how much you’ll need for your down payment.

It’s also important to remember that real estate is very localized, and market conditions can vary drastically from one region to the next. Therefore, it’s essential to have a trusted pro who understands what your area is doing right now. You should also pay attention to the number of homes for sale in your desired location and how quickly they sell. Compare this to the number of comparable homes — sometimes called comps — that have sold in your area recently to get an idea of whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market.

Also, pay attention to the days on the market since a shorter time can indicate buyers are more willing to make concessions. For example, they may be more likely to accept a contingency on the home inspection or to offer a higher price to reduce their risk of having to invest in costly repairs after they move in.

Make a List of Must-Haves

Getting clear on what your new home must have and what is just nice to have can help you narrow your search for your ideal house and speed up the process. Narrowing down your must-haves will give you focus and clarity as you start shopping for homes, attending open houses, and making offers on a new home.

A good real estate agent can assist you in this process, as they stay on top of new listings and know the current market conditions well. You can also research comparable homes, or comps, in your area by looking at recently-sold properties similar to the one you’re interested in buying. This will help you understand the local real estate market and how it is shifting, which may impact your purchasing power.

Schedule a Showing

In this seller’s market, it’s crucial to have a real estate agent in your corner who understands the intricacies of each local market. Choosing an experienced professional can help you navigate the process and avoid costly mistakes, such as overpaying for a home because of a bidding war or buying a property with unforeseen issues that could have been avoided with better research.

When navigating the real estate market, it’s important to be clear about your priorities and expectations. You’ll want to list “needs” and “wants” to identify which features are non-negotiable and which can be compromised. For example, you can compromise on the number of bedrooms if you want a larger lot size.

You can schedule a showing once you’ve found a property you’re interested in. Some listings also allow you to schedule a showing directly with the listing agent. If this option is available, it will be listed in the agent remarks section of the listing. If you need help, you’ll have to call a service and request an appointment. 

Make an Offer

Once you find your dream home, you’ll work with your agent to prepare a purchase offer and submit it to the seller’s agent. Your request should include your preapproval letter from your lender, proof of funds for your down payment (if applicable), and any other terms or contingencies you wish to impose. Generally speaking, you want to come close to the asking price (within 5% or 10%) and be as attractive to the seller as possible, especially in red-hot markets.

Make an all-cash offer to set yourself apart from other bidders. Aside from a lower closing cost, it also speeds up the process and can help you avoid the possibility of your mortgage loan falling through at the last minute. If you have the means, consider adding to your offer by upping the amount of your earnest money deposit or down payment.

If the seller accepts your offer, or if you get a counteroffer from them, you’ll sign the purchase agreement and be under contract. However, it’s always important to remember that a sale can fall through at any time, so you’re still responsible for the mortgage on your existing property until you close on the new one. For this reason, it’s often wise to put your current home on the market before you start shopping for a new one.