Among the hurdles facing would-be homebuyers these days is a lack of inventory of homes for sale. That’s especially true for first-time buyers who, as a result, also meet rising home prices that shrink available inventory even more.
Most sellers want their homes listed on the multiple listing service (MLS) to give themselves the best chance of reeling in potential buyers. If you’re looking for a home, there’s no better way to beat the crowd than to find one before it hits the MLS.
Getting a jump on the competition (other buyers) is not easy, but it can be done. Steve Davis, founder of Real Wealth Academy LLC, told Realtor.com:
Making moves to get ahead of the general public when you’re the buyer is wise if you want to get the perfect house. All it takes is a little ingenuity and some sleuthing, to find out which homes are going on the market before the listings go live, so that you’re ready to pounce.
The experts at Realtor.com have come up with a list of five tips to give buyers a jump in the market.
Ask your agent about listings he’s trying to get
Everyone knows what is available on the MLS. What you want to know is what might be available. It’s in the agent’s best interest to have a ready buyer for a home even before it’s listed, so ask!
Hone in on homeowners undergoing life changes
People sell homes for all kinds of reasons: more kids on the way; kids moving out; deaths; divorce; new jobs in a different place. Find a neighborhood you want to live in and then do the detective work.
Do a mass mailing
Snail mail still has its uses. You can purchase a mailing list for the neighborhood you’re interested in and use it send a mailer to residents letting them know that you want a house in their neighborhood and ask if they are willing to consider selling soon.
Contact the homeowner’s association boards
All condos and many developments have homeowner associations (HOAs) that you can contact to find out if there’s been some talk of homes about to be put up for sale.
Use current listings to broaden your search
Visit an open house and ask the agent if she’s got anything else coming on the market soon. Also, ask some neighbors if they have any intel about who might be getting ready to sell.
Visit Realtor.com’s website for more details.
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