On Your Side: Why is the housing market so hot right now?

OYS: Buying in a competitive housing market

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -The housing market is on fire right now. All you have to do is ask any real estate agent.

“We are seeing all time, pent up demand for homes. We have an unbelievably low inventory out there,” David Emory, broker/owner with RE/Max Southern Homes said.

This week, we found John and Taylor Massey looking at a home in Hoover.

“We’ve been looking for a few months now. We’ve been married for a couple of months so new to the house hunting. It’s been a fun endeavor though,” John said.

The Masseys are also finding out how competitive the market is.

In his over 30-year career, Emory’s never seen it like this. Historic low interest rates are one of the driving factors in this “seller’s market” across the country, which means there are more buyers than homes that are available.

Emory says the days of waiting to see a home on the weekends are over, at least for now.

“When you call your client, they can’t wait till tomorrow or the next day. If the property is available to look at on day one at 8 a.m., you need to be there at 8 a.m.,” Emory said.

You need to be ready to make an offer that same day. I recently went through this process and know firsthand how competitive it is. I looked at a handful of homes and in some cases, I was competing with at least 10 other offers.

That is not unusual in a hot market, but in today’s real estate world, things are kicked up several notches. Emory says it’s key to have your finances in order first and get pre-qualified for a loan.

“You got to have your ducks in a row as far as your money. Your mortgage has got to be in place because the seller is looking at multiple offers on the table. So if you’re a seller and you’ve got 10 offers sitting there, you’re going to go through them, and it’s not only going to be the price but it’s going to be the terms,” Emory said.

And remember cash is always king. On one home, I had the bid up until the 11th hour. That’s when someone came in with a bag full of money and won. They also chose not to have a home inspection which is a trend Emory and other real estate agents are seeing along with other things.

“I’m seeing now a trend that’s happening in some areas that people are making offers on houses sight unseen,” Emory said.

Odds are you will get one shot at an offer on a home. So, what can you do to stand out against the competition? We will talk about that in part two of this housing market series next week.

We will also let you hear from a home inspector about why it’s still important for someone to take a look at things before you sign your life away.

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