Mortgage Advice

Navigating the 2017 Real Estate Market

A combination of factors is making the 2017 real estate environment a “seller’s market.” Limited housing inventories, rising interest rates and a stringent financial regulatory atmosphere are some of the challenges facing homebuyers. According to Redfin, in the past year, 57% of realtors have been involved in a sale with at least 10 offers on a single property. And, only 2% of realtors have NOT experienced a bidding war in the last year.

As a potential buyer in this difficult environment, you must differentiate yourself to edge out the competition. Keep these tips in mind as you start the home buying process.

Get Educated – There are a variety of home loan options for virtually any need. Leverage the expertise of a Univest Home Loan Consultant to learn more about the available financing and determine which solution is best for your unique needs.

Get Pre-Approved – Beyond the standard pre-qualification, you can acquire a more substantive pre-approval which is a full application complete with supporting income and asset documentation processed and underwritten by Univest operations staff. The pre-approval can provide the seller and their realtor confidence in your offer. It can also abbreviate your processing time. Getting pre-approved is a free service provided by Univest.

Be Realistic – Many buyers come into transactions looking to “low-ball” an offer, but that time has passed. In today’s market with too many buyers and too few units available, aggressive offers are considered and anything less is dismissed. It is important to do your homework, stick to your budget and prioritize your housing needs over desires.

Find Good Representation – There are literally thousands of local real estate professionals. Ask for recommendations and interview several agents. Align yourself with someone who knows your target market and understands the current real estate environment. Remember, this person will be your advocate so it is wise to follow their advice, ask lots of questions and be timely when responding to their requests.

Be Flexible – In the current market, you have to be prepared to potentially lose in bidding negotiations. While this can be frustrating, try to avoid becoming dismayed so you have the ability to move quickly when another opportunity presents itself.

Consider what aspects of a home you may be able to do without, such as cosmetics, which can be addressed post-closing. You may need to entertain some creative financing to help secure the property and achieve what is on your “wish list.” For example, there are loans that allow for renovations to be budgeted into your mortgage accounting for everything from carpet and paint to additions and structural enhancements.

While there are more challenges facing buyers today than in previous years, it is still an optimal time to purchase a home because interest rates remain low compared to historical standards. However, these rates are likely to continue rising over the next few years as the economy improves and housing prices will probably follow the same course. Purchasing today means that your property has the potential to appreciate in value as the surrounding market rises. By being educated and realistic, partnering with a competent agent and securing a pre-approval, you will improve your odds of securing your ideal home. Ready to get started? Contact Univest Home Loans at 877-723-5571 or mortgages@univest.net.

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