Recent buyers of South Florida real estate have learned the challenges of house hunting in a hot market. The 2021 boom can be attributed to many factors, including Florida’s tax-friendly policies and a dramatic widening of work-from-home culture due to COVID-19. For buyers seeking an edge in a seller’s market, NerdWallet offers some helpful advice:
- Get preapproved for credit: By having your credit lined up in advance of home shopping, you can gain knowledge of your buying power and give your bids more credibility.
- Compromise, selectively: You can’t change the view, the neighborhood or the lot size. The outdated bathroom, however, may be a quick fix. Major compromises will likely lead to regret. But minor compromises over fixable imperfections can give you the edge you need over other buyers.
- Set aside contingencies: If you plan to make your offer contingent on selling another home, for instance, you limit your chances of buying an attractive property. In a boom market, such contingencies may be a luxury you cannot afford.
- Be patient: A home is an investment that may last a lifetime. You don’t want to settle for something you will be unhappy with just because the market is tight. Markets fluctuate. If you find the perfect home at the right price in a hot market, great. If the right home is not available, you might have to wait, even if it means renting for a while or finding other arrangements.
Before home shopping in a buyer’s market, consult with a real estate attorney who is familiar with the local market conditions, neighborhoods and laws where you intend to buy. No matter how quickly the houses are going, it is always advisable to have your contracts airtight and legal matters professionally handled.