Is snapping up a new Coachella Valley address on your wish list for 2021? The desert real estate market still presents an incredible value amid surging demand for our unrivaled lifestyle, resort-town amenities, and stunning natural surroundings. Additionally, historically low interest rates make it an enticing time to make your move now. Low inventory and fierce competition for properties carried over from last year into 2021 so you need to be primed and prepared in order to secure the desert property of your dreams.
To help you navigate the current market conditions, we put together some tips that will keep your home search on track, help your offer stand out, and hopefully lead to a successful close on your new desert digs. If you are interested in more information on buying a home or the current market conditions of a specific neighborhood or community, please connect with your local Bennion Deville Homes real estate professional by visiting BDHomes.com. We hope to Unlock Possibilities for your desert real estate needs.
Use the Digital Search Tools and Information at Your Disposal
With home showings reduced due to safety protocols put forth by state and local officials as well as the California Department of Real Estate, do the bulk of your home shopping online, first. For example, our website property search tool offers a wealth of features to aid in your Southern California home search, including map-based search.
The real estate industry quickly adapted to this new way of doing business last spring, with most agents investing heavily in high-quality photography, video tours, 3D floor plans, and other features that will give you a strong impression of the home from the comfort of your couch. Listing agents understand this process and are meeting home shoppers where they are starting their search with more high-quality visual information. Take advantage of access to this rich cache of details to make your process easier.
Using these tools, you can narrow your search to a top selection of finalists and then set up showings through your agent before you put in an offer on a home. There is still paperwork required to tour properties in person so by finalizing your top choices through online searches first, you are making the best use of your time. You can always circle back to other properties if need be based on feedback to your REALTOR®. They may know about properties that are just hitting the market that check your list of needs and can arrange for additional showings.
Get Pre-Approved, First
The first step in your home search, other than window shopping online, should be to get pre-approved by a lender. This will give you an idea of the price range you can afford and will make your offer that much stronger. Current market conditions see multiple-offer situations as the norm, so having a pre-approval letter in hand, as opposed to a pre-qualifying letter, elevates the standing of your offer. A pre-approval letter signals to the seller that you are already good for the funds and have the ability to close on the deal, a critical factor when the seller decides which offer to accept.
Start With Your Strongest Offer
With tight inventory in the desert housing market, the likelihood of running into a multiple offer situation is very high. To give yourself the best chance at landing “the one” bring your strongest offer, within your budget, up front. Additionally, you should ask your agent to put together a Comprehensive Market Analysis (CMA) on the property so you know its current market value. Having this information in hand means you could potentially write an offer that is over asking price but still within fair market value. Odds are high that the other offers coming in will be at or just below asking price, so as long as you don’t overcommit or overbid the home’s value, you can get the property you want at a good deal compared to its market value.
Be Flexible with the Seller’s Move-Out Period
Given the state of the world and the stress caused by juggling the simultaneous sale and purchase of multiple properties, offering the seller flexibility with their move out date could be a huge point in your favor. If you are in position to offer even a couple of extra days occupancy without compensation, you may want to consider including that as a part of your offer. This demonstrates to the seller that you are serious about buying the property and also considerate of their situation and the impact that handling multiple transactions and moving can have on them. Providing stress relief in the form of additional time can help your offer stand out and give the sellers a great reason to heavily consider your proposal.
Consider Using a Price Escalation Addendum only with the guidance of a REALTOR®
Another negotiation tool you may use in the event you are in a multiple offer situation is a price escalation addendum. An escalation addendum or clause is a contractual provision that allows a prospective buyer to say, “I will pay X price for your home, but if you receive an offer that’s higher than mine, I am willing to increase my offer to Y price.” In theory, an escalation clause is simple and straightforward. However, in practice there are a lot of details that must be considered before using this approach. Be sure to consult with your REALTOR® before employing this negotiation tool.