Whether you were actively trying to buy a house in the past year or two, or just keeping an eye on the market, you know it’s been tough for buyers to even buy a house, let alone get a deal on one.
If you’ve been hoping things would finally loosen up and swing in the favor of buyers, it doesn’t appear to be any time soon. According to this Fortune article, it’s going to be another “brutal” spring real estate market.
That probably doesn’t sound hopeful, appealing, or inviting if you’re thinking about buying, which is why you shouldn’t wait until spring to get serious about buying a house.
Many buyers will want to wait until spring because they believe that’s when there will be more (and possibly better) options to choose from. They’re not wrong that there will most likely be more listings to choose from, but they probably won’t be better, or a better deal. And no matter how many more listings hit the market, there will be more buyers competing for them than there are homes to buy.
Avoid the herd mentality and at least start your home search in earnest now. In the least, you’ll get a better feel for values and how one house compares to another before your competition even steps foot in a house this spring. That’ll make you more prepared and confident when competing against all of the other buyers who enter the market in the spring.
But, ideally, there’s a good chance that between now and then you’ll actually find a home you love and can go after with less competition than you would if you waited until spring. There are always homeowners listing their home for sale for one reason or another. And, if they’re listing before the spring market, that’s a good sign that they need to sell and are motivated, rather than just trying to capitalize on the spring feeding frenzy. You may even find ones that have been lingering on the market due to winter weather or the holidays, and the owners are more willing to negotiate because they haven’t seen the market react the way they keep reading about and expected.
So, if you’re planning on buying this spring (or even just in the next year), get started as soon as possible. You don’t have to jump on the first house you see, but at least be ready to!