We are in a strong housing market. I like to think of it as a shortage of homes for sale because the demand for homes is exceeding the supply.
Back when there was a surplus of homes on the market people who needed to move could look for a home ahead of time, make an offer and get the sellers to agree to a closing in a few months.
In today’s market sellers can set the terms and most are looking to close soon.
When there is a shortage of homes it is a good idea to start looking in May if the plan is to move in July or August. Especially for those who are in the $150,000 to $250,000 price range in the metro area, there are going to be multiple offers on just about every home.
Buyers will need to plan ahead and be free to make an offer anytime and plan on having to make more than one offer before an offer is accepted.
People who are renting should try to enter into a month to month lease with 30 days notice to move. Flexibility makes a difference and makes it easier to win in a multiple offer situation without having to go far above the asking price.
Plan on getting pre-approved for a mortgage four months before the move. Start working with a real estate agent three months before the move.
Planning a move to another town or state is even more complicated if you don’t know the area. Allow some time for a visit and to drive around and maybe go to an open house or two.