What a Buyer Needs to Know About the SLC Market

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Real Estate

It’s a Seller’s Market!

The hardest thing about a Seller’s Market is being a buyer.  We are seeing multiple offers on almost every property ranging up to nearly $500,000+…and properties up to this range are selling fast…depending upon where they are, and often within just a few days!

Salt Lake City will be a Seller’s Market for the foreseeable future!

Why?  Because we have one of the strongest economies with the strongest job growth in the US and we are nearly out of easily developable land along the Wasatch Front.

The Salt Lake Board of Realtors is continuing to report that home prices are at all time high along the Wasatch Front.

 KSL-TV offers these five reasons for the hot housing market:

1. A booming business economy

2. A reasonable cost of living

3. A lower crime rate

4. Increasing rental rates

5. Awesome outdoor recreation

 What’s a buyer to do?

1. Get pre-approved:

A buyer can't even think to make an offer in this market without being pre-approved; no one will take your offer seriously without a pre-approval letter from your lender.  You will also need the funds for an adequate down payment; your lender will need all of your financial information; don’t hold anything back.

2. Choose an experienced agent:

An experienced buyer's agent have the tools you need (particularly access to the Multiple Listing Service) to act quickly.  A good agent will set you up with a hotsheet from the MLS with your criteria and email it to you every morning at the same time.  And when the time comes to make an offer, they will be able to move quickly and effectively; Utah’s Real Estate Purchase Contract is not something you want to fool around with unless you know what you’re doing.

3. Be prepared to put down serious earnest money:

…in the thousands of dollars… this alone will show that you mean business.

4. Put your best foot forward:

Remember, you will be competing with other buyers who are just as motivated as you, and possibly more so.  You may want to write to the sellers about your motivation and how much you love their home and how it completely fits your needs; I’ve even heard of people sending pictures of their families and successfully selling themselves to the sellers.

5. You will want to consider including an escalation clause in your offer:

This will allow you to top any other offer by a set amount up to a preset ceiling. How much you are willing to escalate matters; I’ve seen escalation amounts up to $3000; and I’ve seen the bidding for a home won by as little as $500.

6. Be prepared to understand the dynamic of a Seller's Market:

It's tough to accept that there is not a lot of room for negotiation when a seller has backup offers that may go five deep.  If a property has “material” issues, i.e., issues that affect its value, then you may have real room for negotiating a lower price once your offer has been accepted (because these are issues which will have to be disclosed to any other buyers).  But beware, you may have to accept more than you care to regarding smaller things: like older appliances, water heaters and furnaces, etc., if you are truly in love with this home.  The threat of going down to the next backup offer is a real one.

7. Don’t fret about every little thing:

Housing values have gone up for the past twenty years along the Wasatch Front, and, although no one can guarantee it, they will most likely continue this trend; particularly in view of the general lack of housing in Salt Lake City.  And, if for some reason or another, you feel you can’t justify buying the home on which you’ve had your offer accepted, don’t worry, there are many more ways for a buyer to escape a contract with their earnest money intact than a seller.

8. Don’t get discouraged:

There is a home for everyone who wants one badly enough; and it’s worth fighting for the right one.  Owning a home has always been a great way to save for the future, and it still is.  I love helping people who are looking to buy a new home and will do my level best to make it happen; you can begin here if you’d like; I would love to help you get your dream home.  Let's get started!