How to Adjust Your Search When You Aren’t Finding The House You Want

How to Adjust Your Search When You Aren’t Finding The House You Want

Right now in NJ we are going through a seller’s market in most areas which can make purchasing a home difficult for many buyers because of limited inventory and multiple offers on popular properties. Instead of getting frustrated there are some ways to modify your search so that you can be more successful and possibly avoid the multiple offer situation.

Adjust What You’re Looking For

The first thing to do in a limited inventory market is to adjust what you’re looking for. If you are looking for the same type of property in the same price range as everyone else in that town it’s going to be difficult and you’re more likely to encounter multiple offers.

For example: In many neighborhoods a very popular home is 3-4 bedrooms with 2 or more baths and renovated so you can just move in.

What I suggest to my clients is to look for a similar property that might need some updating. I’m not talking about a total fixer upper or foreclosure. By updating I mean it has the right space for you but needs new flooring or a kitchen renovation or new bathrooms. Most buyers can’t see what the finished product will be so these homes typically sell slower and don’t generate multiple offers. In fact you may even be able to negotiate the price. If you can see the potential in a house and want to be a savvy buyer you can find a great home and update it to make it your own. (and by the way don’t think that you have to do the work yourself, you will most likely be paying a lower price for the house so you can budget to hire someone. )

Change your Price Range

Many people get stuck because they are looking for a home in a low price range that only exists in a higher price range. For example Let’s say a 4 bedroom 2 bath home completely renovated in a certain town have been selling for around $400,000. You have a pre-approval for $400,000 but you only feel like spending $350,000. So you spend your time running in circles trying to buy a $400,000 home for $350,000. Here is the question I always have for people: If you owned a home that was worth $400,000 would you sell it for $350,000? When you see a home listed for a price lower than the other properties in town there is usually a reason. 

Check A Nearby Town

Sometimes homes in one town are much more expensive than similar homes in a nearby town. The taxes may also be lower in a nearby town. You may be able to get a similar home in a nearby town at a similar price.

If You Can’t Change Your Criteria Make Sure Your Outlook Is Compatible With The Current Market

If you are going to compete for the most popular properties you may have to change your outlook. Many people say “I will not pay over asking price” If you have this in your mind you may very well lose the property you love in a multiple offer situation. You may have to bid over asking price in order to win it.

Many people assume that they can negotiate on every house or their family or friends tell them to always negotiate on a property even if it is a popular property. If you do this your offer will most likely be rejected. You may not be able to negotiate in certain situations. 

Be willing to put your offer in fast. The reaction I usually get from sellers and seller’s real estate agents is that putting in an offer quickly shows you’re decisive. Many buyers think that by offering right away they will show they’re desperate. I make sure to present offers in such a way to show that you are serious buyers. 

Change Where You Search

If you are getting updates from websites other than the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) there may be a delay of up to 48 hours for the listings to get to those websites. The MLS is the system that Real Estate Agents use and you can be set up to receive alerts so that you receive them immediately.  You can click here to get alerts directly from the MLS.

If you can adjust one or more of the things you’re looking for you may be able to save yourself some headaches and time and find a great house!