How to Win in a Red-Hot Housing Market

Laura Gross knew that she’d be facing fierce competition this spring when she was getting ready to bid on a four-bedroom house in Troy, Mich., a suburb of Detroit. So she pulled out all the stops: She waived an appraisal contingency, offered $30,000 above the home’s $285,000 list price, wrote a letter expressing why she loved the home (it reminded her of the house she grew up in a mile away), and offered the seller a free 60-day rent-back.

The seller chose Gross’s offer over seven others. “I knew I had to offer above list price and waive con­tingencies to even have my offer considered in this market,” says Gross, an accounting manager at a manufacturing company.

Gross is just one in a tsunami of house hunters who have flooded the housing market since the coronavirus pandemic began. She experienced firsthand how tough today’s housing market is for buyers.

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Half of Homes Are Selling for Over Asking Price. Here’s How to Decide What to Bid

Home prices have always been negotiable. Usually, that has meant buyers pushing sellers below their asking price. But lately, in a nation marked by a record-low supply of homes for sale, the opposite has been happening.

Consider: half of U.S. homes sold for more than their list price during the four-week period ending May 16, according to Redfin. That marks a record high since 2012, when the brokerage began tracking.

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Selling Your Home in a Seller’s Market

By the time they got the last offer, Quinn and Daryn Shapurji had received 54 bids on their four-bedroom, single-family house in Fishers, Ind., in just three days. Ms. Shapurji said they felt totally overwhelmed — and a bit melancholy.

“We felt bad that we had to say no to so many people, because we got a lot of beautiful letters from buyers saying how much they loved our house and why they wanted to live in the area,” said Ms. Shapurji, 32, a closing coordinator for a home builder. “Some buyers had already struck out on five or six homes.”

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Can the Housing Market Get Any Hotter? A Guide to Home Buying This Spring

The words “spring home buying season” carry a very different meaning this year than they did last year.

Normally spring is the hottest time of year for home sales — more buyers surface when the warmer weather emerges and families prefer to move before the next school year begins. Last year’s spring market, though, was an anomaly. The coronavirus crisis ground the housing market to a halt in mid-March, as states locked down and house hunters put their home search on ice while following stay-at-home orders.

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How Homebuyers Can Win a Bidding War

If you’re buying a home right now, you might find the competition is stiff: More than 60 percent of homes faced a bidding war, a recent Redfin report found, thanks to low mortgage rates and scarce inventory.

Your offer will need to rise to the top. But how? We asked some real estate pros how to make an offer that will win a bidding war.

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Why This Winter Should Be One of the Best Ever for Home Sales

The temperature may be going down as we inch closer to winter, but home prices in the U.S. are still heating up — and there are few signs of cooling.

Normally, home sales peak in the summer and slow once kids start returning to school. That was not the case this year.

In the third quarter of 2020, median single-family home prices rose in all 181 metropolitan areas tracked by the National Association of Realtors. Of those, 117 saw double-digit price growth from a year earlier. Meanwhile, the median sales price of an existing home sold in October 2020 hit $313,000, up from $271,100 in October 2019 and $310,600 in August, according to NAR.

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Where Home Prices Are Heading in the Age of Coronavirus

Baltimore realtor Nicole Callender had five homes scheduled to hit the market April 1. Then the coronavirus struck and all of her clients decided to postpone. Now with home sales picking back up in the last two weeks, Callender is urging sellers to move forward, betting that life — and her city’s real estate market — will soon be back to normal.

“I have a listing coming up in Locust Point, which is a very desirable location,” says Callender, who hopes the house will soon fetch the $485,000 asking price. “The seller was on the fence…but when I sat down with them and showed them how quickly homes are selling in the city, they decided they want to list their home now to avoid missing out on a hot market.”

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6 Things You’ll Love—and Hate—About Buying a Home This Spring

Welcome to the best—and worst—time to buy a home: spring! Yes, it’s peak home-buying season. However, it’s no bed of roses.

Knowing what to expect is half the battle, and can help you use these highs and lows to your advantage!

So consider this an essential prep course. Ready to dive into the best of times and the worst of times for home buying?

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Should You Buy a New Home Before Selling Yours?

For many, it’s an enviable situation: You own a house and have the ability to buy a new home before selling your current place.

But even if you have the cash — or can qualify for a second mortgage — you’ll want to consider a few pros and cons before making the offer. One big consideration: In a seller’s market where houses are going for (or even above) list price, making an offer that’s contingent on the sale of your current home can make it difficult to compete against first-time buyers.

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8 Dumb Reasons People Can’t Buy a Home

Buying a home—especially if it’s your tryingtofindahomefirst—can be a lot like losing weight in the sense that people end up doing, well, some pretty dumb stuff in the process. But while desperate dieters might waste money on “magical” weight-loss pills or silly exercise equipment (remember the shake weight?), misguided home buyers could be doing far more serious damage—like undermining their ability to purchase a house at all. Don’t be one of them! We asked real estate agents to shed light on some of the dumbest reasons people can’t buy a home. The good news? These flubs are easily avoidable.

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