How to Navigate a Hot Housing Market

In the end, the sellers accepted her offer and she closed the apartment on May 7th. She learned that the sellers liked that she showed up for an appointment right away, which helped seal the deal. “Be on time,” she said. And, she advised, get an experienced real estate agent. The current competitive market is moving too fast for do-it-yourself purchases.

Nashville shoppers get creative. Brian Copeland, president of Greater Nashville Realtors, said he recently learned of an offer that would encourage the seller to have a “VIP” meeting with a prominent musician. In another sale, a buyer offered to pay for a party with a springboard for the seller’s children. And in a third case, the buyer saw a Peloton bike in the house and offered to pay for an annual subscription to online courses.

“We’re seeing all sorts of strange benefits,” said Copeland, noting, “I can’t approve of any of these practices.”

Angelica Olmsted, a Denver agent, said tight markets required creative thinking. It tracks offers that have expired to see if the owner might still be interested in selling. “It was overpriced maybe eight months ago,” she said, “but it’s a bargain now.”

Here are some questions and answers about home shopping:

What are the current mortgage rates?

One bright spot for home buyers is that mortgage rates have remained low over the past month, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey – below 3 percent on average for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan. The interest rates on fixed-rate 15-year loans averaged 2.26 percent last week.

I cannot pay more than the asking price. Is there hope for me

Yes – when you’re willing to compromise, agents say. Mr. Copeland in Nashville said the majority of Davidson County’s homes are still selling at or below asking price. The most extreme competition, he said, is in some zip codes in the urban core of the city. If you can live a little further away, he said, there is probably a home you can afford.

How long will it take?

It will take time for construction to meet demand, especially for entry-level homes, say economists. There are some reasons for optimism, however. A recent survey by Realtor.com found that more owners will bring homes to market in the next 12 months as the effects of the pandemic wear off.

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