Even though the weather is still brutally cold, the Iowa City Area real estate market is scorching hot! It is a great market for home sellers; however, the high demand for housing makes it very difficult for home buyers. It’s easy to get frustrated as a home buyer, but that’s where we would love to help you navigate this competitive market. Our goal is to set up our buying clients for success, and it all starts by being prepared to take on this beast of a market! Listings go from “new” status to “under contract” in a matter of hours. It’s so important to be ready to act.
Here are the steps to prepare yourself as a home buyer:
1. Define Your Home Search Criteria
It’s imperative to know what you are looking for in a home. Start by making a list of your “must-haves”; for example, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage size, etc. Next, make a list of your “nice-to-haves”; the features of a home that you desire to have, but they aren’t necessary. Then, think about the areas you prefer. Some things to consider for your preferred areas are commute to work, proximity to amenities, and school district (if applicable). If you do a little soul-searching up front, it can make it easier to act quickly on a home that checks a lot of those boxes on your lists.
2. Schedule a Consultation
(Hint: Meet With Us!)
Once you know what you’re looking for in a home, schedule a time to meet or chat with us! We love to get to know our buying clients up front so that we can really go to work for you. Once we know what you’re looking for, we can alert you to new listings as soon as they hit the market and even let you know about upcoming listings before they hit the market. It’s never too soon to get in touch with us. Visit our contact page to reach out.
3. Familiarize Yourself with the Homebuying Process
We believe it is crucial to educate all our buying clients on what to expect throughout the process, especially first-time home buyers. In this highly competitive market where you don’t have a lot of time to decide, it really helps to know the ins and out beforehand. We love being able to educate our clients before even starting the home search, because it makes them that much more confident throughout the process. Feel free to use our Homebuying 101 Guide to get a jumpstart.
4. Be Attentive to New Listing Notifications
Once we know what you’re looking for in a home, the house hunting really begins! We will be watching closely for you, and we will give you access to our MLS portal. You will be alerted immediately to listings that fit your criteria as they hit the market. It’s important to be checking your email for those notifications. If a home interests you, we can schedule a time to take a look right away!
5. Be Available to See Homes Quickly
With homes selling as quickly as they are, it is important to be able to see homes shortly after they hit the market. If you wait a day or two, there’s a good chance it may already have an accepted offer. We know that work schedules can make it tricky, but we try to be as flexible as possible to make it work for your schedule!
Don’t let this competitive market scare you! As with anything in life, preparation is the key to success. If you’re looking to buy a home this year, we would love to help you and set you up for a successful home search! We won’t sugarcoat it… buying a house in this market can be a roller coaster ride, with ups and downs, but we are firm believers that what’s meant to be will be. We are here to help you through every step of this journey, and ultimately, end it on a high note. 😊
Happy house-hunting & keep your head up!