Ready? Set? Buy!!! Beat the Competition this Spring!

Two-Story House in Star 
Spring Home Buying and Selling Season

The beautiful spring weather has been slowly moving its way in, and it looks like its going to stay. But with spring comes more than just pleasant weather, especially for the real estate market. Spring tends to be a frenzy of buying and selling in the housing market, when buyers and sellers move from the sidelines. As more and more people see reports of rising home prices, worries of slipping home values take a backseat. We've seen some the country's highest rise in home prices, which makes this spring's buying season the best time to hit the market and buy the home you've been holding out for.

According to Fannie Mae's monthly national consumer attitudinal survey report from February of this year, Americans continue to express strong positive attitudes toward housing. Average 12-month home price expectations and the number of Americans who believe home prices will continue to go up over the next year both rose to record highs.

What's in Store for us?

Fannie Mae Survey Numbers

“We expect home prices to firm further amid a durable housing recovery, gradually reducing the population of underwater borrowers and helping to boost the share of consumers who say that now is a good time to sell,” Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae said.

Within these surveys, Fannie Mae believes there are key inputs for determining the future course of investment activity across the housing market. From these reports, it looks like the market will continue to see positive-minded consumers finally putting their homes up for sale, as well as buyers taking advantage of home prices before they rise even more. In fact, pending home sales are at their highest levels since April of 2010.

Spring homebuyers may find themselves walking into a market with a lack of homes for sale despite rising prices. Nationwide, the supply of existing homes for sale has fallen for seven straight months, hitting an almost eight-year low in January, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Competing offers for the same homes are rising in more markets, especially out here in the west. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to prepare for spring buying season, even if it comes down to a bidding war for your favorite house.

Speaking of potential bidding wars, it's become a reality for many buyers throughout the Treasure Valley this year. With more buyers and fewer homes for sale, increased competition is an inevitability, so here's what you need to do to come out on top: Don't offer too little for a home that you know you want. If you fell in love with the home, you can almost bet someone else will too. Work closely with your agent to negotiate the right price so the seller will accept your offer.

Top Tips for Home Buyers this Spring

Experience Matters

It's more important now than ever to work with an experienced buyer's agent. Your agent will do the legwork for you when it comes to finding a home that fits your desired criteria and may even know of homes-for-sale that are not yet listed. Remember, a buyer's agent is there to work for you and preserve your interests, as well as securing the best possible price.

Get Pre-approved

bidding_warsm_300Before you begin shopping for a home, get pre-approved. You likely have a rough idea of how much you can afford to pay every month on a mortgage, but you may not be qualified to borrow as much as you think. Before you fall in love with a home that you can't afford, obtain all the necessary financing arrangements. In addition, if you wait too long to obtain pre-approval, someone else may move in on the home you want-especially in this competitive housing market. In fact, it wouldn't be unusual to see a large number of sellers request that only pre-approved buyers make an offer. And with today's tight lending standards, be more prepared than ever as you walk into the bank.

Waste not, Want not

Ready, set, go! As soon as you see a home on the market that you like, don't waste any time. View it as soon as possible and be ready to make an offer. This is another reason why having pre-approved financing is crucial these days.

This is a fantastic time to buy a new home with interest rates still holding at record lows, but rates are forecasted to steadily go up this year, so now is the time to get into the market and nab the home you want.

 Sources: Americans Expect Home Prices and Mortgage Rates to Increase; Attitudes About Economy and Household Finances Remain Flat.

USATODAY: Pending Homes Sales Highest Since April 2010

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