House hunting has become a contact sport over the past year. The idealized vision of a leisurely Saturday morning reviewing open houses and plotting the day’s tours over lattes and croissants is a thing of the past. While popping into the local open house might be fun for the casual looker, if you are serious about finding your next home, this climate demands strategy.
First and most importantly, know exactly what you need and want in a new home. Then share this vision in detail with your agent. Identify not only what you need in the property, but which communities would best fit your lifestyle. With lower inventory from which to choose, you also need to be clear about any compromises you are willing to make—if any.
Once you know what you’re looking for, the next step is to be available for some house hunting during the week. That’s right, mid-week...and, ideally, throughout the week. Although many new listings don't hit the market until Thursday to allow listing agents time to advertise open houses for the weekend, those that pop up on a Monday or Tuesday may not be on the market by the time the weekend arrives.
Strategy is critical in a seller’s market. Serious buyers need to prioritize their search to position themselves ahead of their competition. Being available to see new listings as soon as possible is one way to ensure you don’t lose out on an opportunity to write an offer on the right home.