Buying a house was challenging for many buyers in 2021, but especially for first-time buyers as competition and prices were high, and inventory was low, and while some predictions suggest things will loosen up a bit in 2022, buyers will still need to have an aggressive strategy heading into the new year.
According to this REALTOR Magazine article, first-time buyers are optimistic about their chances in 2022, and many are changing their strategies to increase their odds of success. The most notable changes in strategy were:
Making an offer within 48 hours of seeing a home
Offering above asking price
Being willing to compete in bidding wars
Going over their budget
Making offers on houses without even seeing them first
Making offers quickly, being willing to go above asking and compete in bidding wars are all advisable strategies in this market. Going over budget on the other hand…well, that depends. If “going over budget” means still within their comfortable financial means, sure! If not, it’s a recipe for future struggle and financial trouble. And making offers on houses without seeing them in person first isn’t the worst thing to do given technology, but it is not ideal.
What wasn’t on the list, and would likely make the biggest impact for first-time buyers, was to choose and work with a great real estate agent. Working with a trusted buyers’ agent can enhance any of the above strategies, if not make them unnecessary. Their awareness of the market, perspective, advice, connections, and negotiation skills can often give first-time buyers an edge, yet many first-time buyers don’t put a lot of emphasis on choosing and working with one.
So, if you are a first-time buyer looking to edge out competition in 2022, by all means be prepared to do everything on the list other buyers are planning on. But, to truly tip the scales in your favor, make sure you are teaming up with a buyers’ agent you connect well with and trust.