The natural rhythm of the housing market appears to be returning to the Washington metro area, with an anticipated slowdown around the holidays before an uptick in activity when the spring market hits.
However, it’s best to recognize that for real estate “spring” can sometimes come as early as January or February. Depending on the severity of the winter, many home sellers opt to get ahead of the curve and put their home on the market early in the year. Savvy buyers jump at the chance to be the first to preview newly listed homes rather than wait for the rush of buyers later in the season.
The Bright MLS | T3 Home Demand Index, which tracks home showings and other market indicators to evaluate homebuyer demand, is a forward-looking indicator to help both buyers and sellers understand what’s happening in their local market. The Home Demand Index compares market data to the previous month as well as the previous year to evaluate how much competition buyers and sellers may face. In November, the T3 Home Demand Index was 10% lower than in November 2020. Keep an eye on the T3 Home Demand Index as next year's market gets going to see what to expect when the seasons change again.
Preparing for an early spring
If you’re thinking that 2022 is the year that you will buy a home, there are multiple steps you can take now to get ready – even if spring arrives in January.
- Get recommendations and interview several buyer’s agents. You’ll need to trust your agent to provide you with sound advice about home values, to point out features and flaws in homes and to connect you with other reliable professionals. Find someone with experience in the neighborhoods where you want to live and with whom you feel comfortable sharing financial and personal information. Your buyer’s agent can tell you when new homes come on the market and when the competition is heating up.
- Consult a mortgage lender. A lender can provide you with a free consultation to discuss your qualifications for a loan, your loan options and various scenarios that may fit your financial plans. As you get closer to shopping for a home, get a full loan prequalification based on documentation of your credit, income and assets to present with your offer.
- Get your finances in order. Gather down payment and closing cost cash, save money for moving expenses and pay down debt if possible so you’re in a good position to qualify for a loan at a low interest rate.
- Research homebuyer programs. Every jurisdiction has homebuyer programs, and some employers offer homebuyer assistance.
- Explore listings and neighborhoods online and in person. If you’re not sure where you want to live or what’s available in your price range, take time now to look at properties to gather ideas about your priorities. The more places you visit virtually or in person, the more you’ll know what you want when you’re ready to seriously shop.
- Line up your other professionals. Your real estate agent can recommend a home inspector, a moving company and contractors if you need work done on a property, so you may want to have them ready for when you need to make an offer quickly.
Many buyers found themselves forced to make quick decisions during the past 18 months. The more time you take now to prepare, the easier it will be for you to make a fast choice, too.
See other articles related to: bright mls
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/how-to-prepare-for-spring-market-which-could-come-in-january/19046.
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