Believe it or not, TikTok can be used for more than mindlessly scrolling through videos of adorable pets, glow-ups, and lots and lots of dancing.
Surprise: Advice-filled real estate buying videos have become a bona fide TikTok trend. More and more current and future homebuyers click on the app to find advice from real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and even remodeling experts. And in today’s tight real estate market—where buyers will do (nearly) anything possible to get a leg up on the competition—everyone is on the prowl for extra intel.
The info you find on TikTok can be a boon. But like any social media platform, there’s so much advice out there, it can be tedious and confusing to wade through video after video to find those true nuggets of wisdom. Rest assured, we have your back.
Below are the best homebuying tips we discovered courtesy of TikTok. If you want to buy a home in 2022, they might help you gain an inside track.
1. Don’t dismiss bad MLS photos
Don’t scroll past those blurry home photos, lousy cellphone photos, or listings that used Google Street View to show you the exterior. According to @themattleighton, real estate listings that have poor-quality photos aren’t being marketed properly and, most likely, the seller isn’t going to negotiate properly either. So you could get a good deal. After all, you’re buying a house, not a photo album.
Plus, you might find that you have less competition since more home shoppers are likely to pass on a house if they can’t get a good feel for it online.
2. Submit an offer with only one contingency
@benanderson.365 is an ex-athlete who started the mortgage origination training company, BA365, and authored “Homeowner Now: The 7 True Steps To Homeownership.” He recently hopped on TikTok to share some insight for buyers who are frustrated that they are losing out on offer after offer.
“We all know that home sellers have the advantage today. … So your offer must stand out,” he says.
So how do you do it? The best way to get to the top of the seller’s offer pile is to put only one contingency on your offer: a home inspection.
“The seller must feel that you’re not going to back out,” he says.
3. Buy as soon as you can afford to
If you can afford to buy a home now, don’t wait, says @connorrealtor, a buyer’s agent at The Ramsey Group with Keller Williams Realty in Charlotte, NC.
The market might change for the better in a year and you might be able to afford to buy a bigger home, but your situation could also change for the worse, he says. Since nobody can predict the future of the real estate market, it’s smart to take the plunge when you can and finally buy that dream home.
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard current buyers say they wish they’d bought at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021 when mortgage rates were at an all-time low.
4. Forget the noise
Watch the news, read the paper, or just scroll TikTok, and you’ll hear about how housing inventory is low and it’s nearly impossible to buy. But @homesbykrissy advises tuning out the noise. Instead, the Realtor® says to do what is best for you.
“If you can afford to buy a home, get in the game,” she says. “It may not be the home of your dreams in this market, but if it’s the right time for you, you can start to build equity and then sell that home later.”
5. Take a big sniff—in the basement
When you tour a home, you’re most likely looking at the bedrooms and the beautiful kitchen. But @homerenovisiondiy urges homebuyers looking at a property built before 2000 to head straight to the basement and take a big sniff. Most basements built before 2000 are not waterproof, so the risk of mold is higher—and potentially a long-term and expensive problem to deal with.
“Smell it while your nose is full of fresh air from outside, and see if you can smell any mold or must,” he says. Then, look up for lines in the ceiling, which can indicate leakage.
6. Check out home grant programs
Think you can’t afford to buy that great home you saw? Think again. @taylorwiththeagentsee breaks down Bank of America’s Community Homeownership Commitment, which provides homebuyers with grants of up to $10,000 for their down payment and up to $7,500 toward their closing costs.
Home grant programs like this will have requirements (including a minimum credit score), and a particular grant might not be offered in all states, but who knew that watching a TikTok video could point you in the direction to free money to buy a home?
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