With inflation falling to 3.2% in the past month, expectations are rising that mortgage costs will begin to fall in early 2024. But until that happens, today's active buyers have the luxury of not having to fight for a home as others did when the market was booming. According to realtor.com, prices across America have dropped back from their summer highs, and we're seeing nearly a third more properties on the market than last year.
Use these strategies for some efficient house hunting.
Mortgage costs will rise and fall, mostly aligned to economic cycles. Right now, the high rates are pushing down some prices and reducing the number of buyers in the market. That combination will ease the challenge of finding a home today.
Realtor.com says more than 90% of sellers are accepting so-called “buyer-friendly” terms to strike a deal. So, make sure you use an agent with a great negotiating track record and who's worked in similar markets to the one we're experiencing today.
Don't give up the standard contingencies when making an offer. Ensure your offer is conditional on obtaining final mortgage approval and the property passing building and pest inspections.
Buyers will be all too familiar with time pressure. Sellers try to exploit it by quickly soliciting offers from as many folks as possible. Most pre-approved mortgages expire after 12 weeks. So, buyers know all about the ticking clock. However, the current market dynamics mean you shouldn't feel compelled to rush your decision.
This strategy doesn't play out most times. The majority of sellers are prepared to wait for what they see as a fair offer. When you find a desirable property, keep your offer realistic. Use recent sales in the neighborhood to justify your bid.
Many buyers don't look at buying a new home. But there are some good deals around. You could even exploit rate buydown programs offered by construction companies looking to win your business. It's an option if your budget is stretched.