The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Homebuyers Today
Not too long ago, there was a point where buying a house was fairly simple. You’d schedule some tours, make an offer, and bang, you’d be in the house before you knew it.
Today’s housing market, however, is a very different animal – fast, fierce and ever-changing. In such an environment, it is no longer easy for all homebuyers to find a home and close the deal. Even more surprising is that the lucky ones who succeed aren’t just sitting on a pile of cash. Instead, the realtors and other experts we spoke with say that today’s successful homebuyers simply have a special mindset and behavior that helps them persevere in today’s market.
So, what are these qualities, you may ask?
1. They’re persistent
While the market may be slowing down in some places, in other areas buyers are still facing stiff competition for available properties. This means you may have to make an offer on several homes before one is accepted. As a result, perseverance is more productive than ever.
“Persistent [homebuyers] may still continue to find success,” Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor®, recently noted.
In fact, she added, recent data “show that homeownership rates are up from a year ago, both overall and for virtually every age, racial and ethnic group.”
2. They keep their emotions in check
Buying a home can be a highly emotional process, especially when you’re in a hot market and competing with multiple offers. If you fall in love with a particular house, watch out! If your bid is rejected, the ensuing heartbreak may bring tears to your eyes. If your bid is rejected, the ensuing heartbreak may bring tears to your eyes, or worse, despair.
While emotional outbursts are understandable, try not to let your mind wander to the dark side and start thinking “what’s wrong with me?
Ashley Chambers, a partner at ASAP Cash Offer in Miami, says successful buyers “don’t take rejection to heart.”” If a home doesn’t work out, they know there will be others.”
When emotions get the best of you, try to lean into logic – and do your best not to get too attached to the house until the deal closes.
3. They’re open-minded and willing to move
Traditionally, if you were looking to buy a home, you would look within a very small radius, especially one that allowed you to handle your commute. But now, with the rise of work-from-home jobs, those rules have changed – and the criteria for homebuyers should be adjusted accordingly.
“One factor driving homebuyers’ success is an incredibly strong labor market that gives workers the ability to negotiate remote or hybrid work arrangements, even as in-person work becomes increasingly common,” Hale explains.
“With flexible work arrangements still available, homebuyers are able to consider making their own personal plans for the rising cost of living further from the office, in a more affordable suburb, or even in a new, cheaper state,” Hale added.
If you have flexible work options, consider expanding your home search to places you’ve traditionally looked. You may find other options that give you more value for your money.
4. They’re not afraid to ask questions
Before making the biggest purchase of their lives, smart shoppers will have questions – about the property they wish to buy, the home buying process itself, all of it. However, in a fast-paced, competitive market where some people may feel pressured to keep questions to a minimum in order to keep the deal moving, it seems you should feel lucky that the home seller accepted your offer.
Despite any reservations you may have, Rinal Patel, co-founder of We Buy Philly Home in Philadelphia, recommends bringing your questions to your real estate agent so you can enter the transaction with confidence.
“When looking at homes with your agent, be sure to ask them plenty of questions. Not only will this help you better understand the home and the market, but it will also give your agent a good idea of what you’re looking for,” he advises.” The more you know, the better equipped you will be to make the right decision.”
5. They see beyond how a home looks
Everyone wants the perfect home. However, in this market, you will likely have to make some compromises. Inventory remains low and multiple buyers are competing for the same few homes, all of which means that if you’re willing to compromise, you’ll be more likely to find success.
“The most successful buyers today are able to look beyond cosmetic repairs,” says Ashley York, managing broker and owner of Realtopia Real Estate in Lockport, Illinois.” They are able to visualize the potential of a property that other homebuyers may overlook when trying to find the perfect home that everyone else wants right now, too.”
6. They can draw a firm line between wants and needs
While homebuyers of the past may have snagged their dream home without much effort, today’s homebuyers must be realists. One way they do so is by understanding the difference between what they want and what they need in a home.
“I encourage homebuyers to make a list of needs versus wants,” says Mary Bromberg, a broker with Compass in New York City.” If the needs list exceeds the wants, then they may need to reevaluate their criteria.”
While needs can remain non-negotiable, be willing to be flexible when it comes to your desires, especially if they are things you can add to the property later. If you have hopes of buying a home today, this is what’s needed.
7. They’re flexible and available
“Flexibility is another essential habit as a homebuyer,” says Kerry Sherin, consumer advocate with Ownerly in Austin, Texas. Since homes sell extremely quickly, waiting until the weekend to look may be too late.
“If your real estate agent calls you at the last minute with a great new listing, you should go see it as soon as possible,” Sherin advises.
If you do make an offer, Sherin adds, “it’s also important to remain flexible and accommodating when it comes to contract negotiations.”
If a seller has multiple offers, the easygoing homebuyer is sure to stand out more than someone who demands a lot of repairs or other stipulations to close the deal.