Despite a global pandemic, Austin's real estate market broke nearly every record imaginable during the summer of 2020. It's such a hot time for homes that buyers should do all they can to favorably position themselves as the winning bidder — and Realtors are a huge part of that.
Cindy Goldrick, owner and broker at Wilson & Goldrick Realtors, emphasizes that it is critical homebuyers have their finances in order before even starting to view homes. A recent Zillow survey found that among homeowners who had an offer fall through, one in five ID'd their financing as the culprit.
"Buyers should already be working with a lender and have paperwork complete and a pre-approval letter ready to go," she says. That way, if you walk through the door of your dream home, you're able to make a move immediately.
Pre-approval means you are approved for full financing and requires a more comprehensive finance and credit check. Pre-qualification has traditionally been for buyers who are unsure about their spending limit, but in today's lightning-quick market, pre-approval is the way to go.
According to the Austin Board of Realtors' August housing report, homes in the Austin-Round Rock region spent 10 fewer days on the market than they did in summer 2019. This low inventory — plus astonishingly low mortgage rates — means that when a good deal appears, it's often gone just as quickly.
Ideally, your Realtor should be well connected to other agents so you can learn about listings before they even go live.
"It's important to work with agents who are familiar with the area, and know about listings before or as soon as they hit the market," Goldrick says.
But the process doesn't stop as soon as you put in an offer. To stand out as a candidate, buyers can offer other attractive incentives with their bid, such as a quick close, no contingencies, and a skilled and experienced Realtor.
"It helps to work with an agent who has a good rapport with other agents, and is known for getting through the process in a timely fashion," says Goldrick.
An escalation clause can also be extremely valuable in a competitive market. This is language included in your pre-approval that ensures your best offer is always in front of the seller.
Ultimately, it comes down to your Realtor and their ability to negotiate for you. If they are truly familiar with the area, they will know what constitutes a solid offer and when you should walk away and focus on finding the next opportunity. Consider them your secret weapon.
To speak with a Wilson & Goldrick Realtor, call 512-328-0022, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website.