The housing market in Winston-Salem and surrounding areas throughout North Carolina is in the middle of a shift. After about two years of high prices and competitive bidding on homes, the values of properties remain high but the prices are stabilizing. The higher interest rates have moved many buyers outside of the market, and the competition for well-maintained homes is not quite as fierce as it was two years ago.
That doesn’t mean it’s an easy market to navigate.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’ve done this before, you might be wondering what to expect if you’re thinking about buying a home.
We offer Winston-Salem real estate services to buyers, sellers, and investors, and these are the four things we recommend that buyers do in today’s housing market.
1. Clean Up Your Credit for the Best Mortgage Rate
You want to make sure you’re financially prepared to pay for a house and be approved for a mortgage.
Check your credit report. Make sure it’s accurate and eliminate any debt or negative marks that you can. This is something you’d do any time you buy a house, but with mortgage rates rising, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re getting the best possible rate. It impacts how much you ultimately spend on your home.
2. Find a Great Real Estate Agent
The real estate agent you choose to work with can have a huge impact on the success you find as a buyer in the housing market. Make sure you’re choosing a Realtor who knows the area and understands your budget and your lifestyle. You don’t want to waste time on homes that are out of your price range or the opposite of what you’re looking for.
3. Prepare for Higher Sales Prices
Enter the real estate market understanding that you’ll probably pay more for a home than you would have paid five years ago. There are a number of factors that feed into this. There’s inflation driving prices up for everything from homes to eggs. There’s also a post-COVID supply issue that still needs reckoning with. While new construction has eased some of the demand, there are still gaps in what’s available, which drives prices up.
As more buyers get priced out of the market, you’ll find that prices start to drop. But if you’re buying now, expect to pay more. Home prices have jumped by double-digit percentages over the last two years. Work with an agent who is an especially good negotiator and stick to your budget.
4. Make a Competitive Offer
Plan to be flexible with your offer, and remember that a competitive offer is not always a higher offer. You can negotiate terms with the seller. Maybe you’ll be willing to overlook some of the older appliances that need to be replaced in order for a price reduction. Or, you could offer to close right away in order to have your offer chosen over other offers.
If you have a lot of cash laying around, offer to pay in cash. That’s always going to get the attention of a seller who is ready to get out of the real estate game.
We’d love to help you manage your home-buying process. If you have questions about how to navigate the market with less stress, please contact us at Capstone Realty Consultants. We’re your trusted real estate partner in Winston-Salem.