Over the last several years, we’ve seen it all — homes selling for well over asking, listings going under contract in a matter of hours, and sellers sifting through stacks of cash offers. This has been a competitive season for the industry as a whole — and the Ann Arbor area is no exception.
To help you navigate the Ann Arbor real estate market, we’re sharing a few tips for remaining competitive while you search for your dream home. There are several ways you can stand out from the pack, from careful planning and preparation, to incentives you can offer, of both the financial and conditional kind.
Above all, we are here as a resource to help you navigate the ins and outs of buying a home in Ann Arbor!
Find the Right Agent
Finding the right agent is foundational to your success in the home buying journey, as your agent will act as your advocate, communicating and negotiating on your behalf. Any of Reinhart’s agents can help you navigate every step, from the initial home search to signing papers on closing day. Research candidates and conduct interviews to find an agent that fits your unique communication style and personality. The average Reinhart agent is full-time, has more than seven years of market experience, and has probably spent their entire career at Reinhart. They are equipped with the training, tools and technology to adequately assist you with your home search. Contact us to be connected with one of our trusted, experienced agents.
Do Your “Homework”
While you may want to hit the ground running, there are a few “homework” items you can do before your home buying adventure begins. Get familiar with the Ann Arbor market by going to open houses, taking a look at the current inventory, and brainstorming the types of homes you are interested in. That way, when the perfect home hits the market, you’ll know it’s the one!
Plus, this is a good time to familiarize yourself with the home buying process, especially if this is your first time buying a home. Check out our Buyer’s Guide to understand the typical order of events, from pre-approval to closing day.
You’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you begin your home search, which means a mortgage professional will review your financial situation and verify your income and debt status. Once you’ve completed the pre-approval process, the mortgage professional will let you know how much house you can afford to buy based on the loan amount for which you qualify.
Reinhart’s John Adams Mortgage is a one-stop source for home financing. We’ve done our homework to provide the best loan products, saving you valuable time and money. We have competitive interest rates and fees and a selection of lenders and products, which allow us to get you the best priced product for your needs. We are based in Michigan and our local processing minimizes the time spent during the process. To a seller, having a lender’s pre-approval letter is an advantage over non-approved buyers. If a seller knows your financing is secure, your offer is stronger. Pre-approval also gives you peace of mind as you shop for a home, knowing that you will qualify for the proper mortgage amount.
Create a Reinhart Account + Use the Mobile App
In a competitive real estate environment, homes can sometimes go under contract in a matter of hours — so you’ll want to be the first to know when a home hits the market. Create an account with Reinhart to begin monitoring the local market. You can see new homes as they become available, get information on recently sold properties, save your favorite properties and searches to view again later, share listings with your agent or friends and family, and more. Our listings are updated within minutes of a home hitting the market, so you won’t miss out on your dream home. You’ll be the first to know when new properties become available based on your saved preferences in the communities you love!
Download the Reinhart mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices, and discover a variety of different search options and filters, making it easier than ever to search for homes on the go. The app syncs seamlessly with your account, so any information saved on your phone is also accessible through our website.
Determine Your Wants + Needs
The reality is that you may have to make a few compromises in order to secure a deal. That’s why it’s important to differentiate between your wants and needs — so you know what is a deal breaker and what is simply a less-than-ideal situation. For example, you may need a spacious backyard for the kids and the dog to play in, while you may want an updated kitchen. So when you find a home with a huge backyard and an outdated kitchen, you’ll know it’s time to make an offer! After all, things like fixtures and paint colors can be updated down the road, but the lot size? Not so much.
As mentioned, speed is the name of the game in a competitive market. That’s why you’ll need to be prepared to make decisions at the drop of a hat. But don’t worry — your agent will do much of the heavy lifting for you throughout the search process. And they will put together the proper paperwork and help you come up with a reasonable offer. All you have to do is be ready to view homes, make a quick decision, and sign your name on the dotted line!
Make Yourself Stand Out
In a pile of enticing offers, you’ll want to do everything in your power to stand out from the crowd. This could include financial incentives to make the seller’s jaw drop — like covering their closing costs, offering well above asking price, or making a larger earnest deposit. Or you might offer a longer closing or inspection period. Who knows? These details might just be what seals the deal!
The more flexible and accommodating you can be, the better. You might have your agent reach out to the selling agent to see if there is anything that will convince the seller. They may desire a longer closing period so they can find their next home, or they might want to skip the process of repainting the interior or making other repairs, as previously planned. Your flexibility and willingness to meet in the middle can significantly ease the mind of the seller!
At the end of the day, your very first offer may not be accepted. In fact, it’s likely that it won’t! That’s why it’s important to be patient, trust the process, and keep moving forward. Take solace in the fact that there is a home out there for you — and when you finally move in, you’ll feel an incredible sense of relief and excitement. And all that hard work and the rollercoaster of emotions you went on will have been worth it!
Since 1971, Reinhart Realtors has been the leading full-service real estate firm in the Ann Arbor region. So we know a thing or two about what it takes to stand out in this market! Contact us to be connected with one of our agents, who can help you through every step of the home buying process.