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Deb Staley

JoCo KS Specialist

Saving Money on Your Home PurchaseSave money when buying a home in Johnson County, Kansas

Tips for Home Buyers Competing in Today’s Low-Inventory Market

There’s no question that the record-low inventory in the real estate market is making things difficult for home buyers and their real estate agents. It is not unusual for buyer to put in offers on several homes before finally getting one. Even buyers making full-price offers are losing out to offers that are over full price. I’ve been a Realtor® for 14 years and have never seen anything like it.

We have to work with the homes that are available, and that’s not always easy. There is one thing you can do to make it less stressful and more successful. It is just one thing, and you should really think about this—lower your expectations!

When a home listing hits the market and it has excellent photos, a lot of interest is generated. Multiple showings occur right away. If the home is really updated with the latest styles of paint, hardware, flooring, countertops, cabinets, and new mechanical systems, it sells immediately and usually for over asking price. What a joy to get a home that is nearly perfect and you don’t have to lift a finger other than moving in.

Nearly perfect isn’t how life usually works though. Nearly perfect doesn’t happen very often. Everyone’s standards seem to be too high, and their expectations are often unreasonable compared to what they were when I was a first-time home buyer. I was willing to do some work to gain some “sweat equity”, but we don’t see this as often now. What has caused this? Is it all the ridiculous reality TV shows?

For example, when HGTV first started, I watched it constantly. It was full of do-it-yourself tips that were reasonable in price, and they made it look fun. Those shows are all gone now. The emphasis seems to be on ripping out everything and going with the latest fashions, like clothing. The problem is, cabinets cost way more than jeans! Flooring is much more expensive than shoes. The focus should be on making your house a happy home, and not worrying about the home décor police judging you for having old chrome hardware or shiny brass doorknobs. Heaven forbid you have honey oak cabinetry or flooring or the dreaded popcorn ceilings!

If you won’t lower your expectations, you will either pay a lot more than you should for a home, or you just won’t get one. Do a reality check about what you truly need, and see how much easier your home-buying experience becomes.

Lastly, you can save money on your home purchase by using a buyer’s agent. An agent who holds the Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) designation has the experience to get you the best deal. Also, don't pay a fee to be represented. Most agents charge a “fixed commission”, “agency management fee”, or some other fee to represent you. Deb Staley does not charge any extra fees to buyers (or sellers) and she is an ABR too.

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©Deb Staley 2017