|Embarking on a home purchase in a seller’s market can be intimidating, but it can be done with a plan, a partner and some patience. And it’s worth doing. Long-term price growth shows that owning a home is a key element in building long term wealth. Home equity gained over time is typically the largest contribution to a household’s net worth.
Buying a home is not only an investment, but also provides shelter and a lifestyle that fills the needs and wants of the homeowner. We have seen many lifestyle-driven moves during the pandemic as buyers seek to be closer to family, enjoy less density, achieve more green space and have room to work at home or homeschool. Without the demand for some workers to be onsite, buyers are more flexible in determining where they want to live. This has contributed to stronger price growth in suburban and rural locations, outside the city center.
Buyers that have a well-designed plan can achieve success in today’s market. Partnering with their Broker to assess their budget and how it relates to the location(s) and features they desire helps a buyer gain clarity. Buyer clarity leads to making a sound decision when offering on a home. Without a clear plan, a clear decision is more difficult, takes longer and is more costly. We have seen intense price growth since the beginning of the year illustrating the cost of waiting. In King County median price is up 16% year-over-year and up 21% in Snohomish County.
A tool that we often use to help a buyer determine a productive search for their new home is The Triangle of Buyer Clarity. It is a tool for a buyer to help determine the realistic parameters of their home search. The relationship between Price, Location, and Features/Condition is key in helping a buyer gain clarity and efficiency in their search.
In order to help buyers stay focused on the reality of what their budget allows, we can apply this tool. For instance, if a buyer is set on a turn-key home that requires minimal updates, they may have to go up in price or further out in location, or both. The sides of the Triangle are often adjusted to make an uneven triangle, resulting in an effective home search and a successful purchase. A perfect triangle is rare; buyers often have to adjust at least one side of the triangle to match the market with their ability to perform.
A skilled broker is well-versed in helping guide this process and can help get the buyer to a place of clarity to achieve success. Real estate is a relationship business, and effectively curating this process is dependent on trust and care.
Helping buyers find their next home is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. To some, it appears simple, but it is far from it. The crucial conversations, contemplation, counsel and planning that take place are intentional, especially in a swift market. Taking time up front to achieve buyer clarity saves much anguish in the long run. If you, or someone you know, have been contemplating a purchase, please reach out. I’m happy to consult whether the move is soon or further down the road. I’m here to help!