11 Ways to Be Competitive in Omaha’s Hot Real Estate Market
The last two years have been a whirlwind for the real estate industry — and Omaha certainly saw the impact. We’re talking houses selling within hours of listing, for well over asking price, and with dozens of suitable offers on the table — and sometimes all three at the same time.
So with a market moving at lightning speed, how do you remain competitive? Have no fear! With help from one of our trusted agents, there are several ways you can stand out from the competition and ultimately, get the keys to your dream home.
From searching to negotiating, here are a few ways to put your best foot forward in the Omaha real estate market!
Work With a Trusted Agent
Before you even start your initial home search, the most important step is to begin working with a trusted agent. Your agent will work tirelessly on your behalf throughout the entire home buying process, from your first meeting explaining what you’re looking for in a home to signing the papers on closing day. They will act as your personal advocate, going to bat for you to help you get the best deal possible. Not to mention, they will have their fingers on the pulse of any new listings hitting the market that fit within your budget and preferences.
As the oldest real estate company in the country, NP Dodge has a roster of agents with decades of experience buying and selling homes in the Omaha, Council Bluffs and Lincoln areas. They are knowledgeable about the area’s neighborhoods, school districts and attractions — but also what it takes to get an accepted offer in this unique real estate landscape. Contact us to be connected to one of the many trusted agents at NP Dodge!
There are several things you can do to get prepared before you begin the home buying journey. Completing a little bit of “homework” will help you lay the foundation so you are ready to hit the ground running when you encounter the right home. Make sure you are familiar with the Omaha market by going to open houses, exploring the current inventory, and thinking about what types of homes you are interested in.
Plus, this is a good time to become familiar with the home buying process if you are a first-time buyer. We created a Home Buying Guide, which walks you through all the steps, from finding an agent to closing.
Create an Account With NP Dodge
For a seamless and synchronized home search experience, create an account with NP Dodge, which you can access on any device, including your phone, computer or tablet. With an account, you can easily share your favorite properties with your agent, family or friends, add notes and communicate about the features you love, receive real-time property alerts, create saved searches, and more. When you’re logged in, each action you take on the website will seamlessly sync with your account on the mobile app, which makes searching, sharing and buying a home easier than ever!
Before you fall in love with a home outside your budget, you’ll want to understand just how much home you can afford. Meeting with a financial advisor will help you get a clear picture of your financial status. You can work together to create a reasonable budget and figure out how much you can realistically put down as your down payment. This is also a good time to gather any relevant documents you will need during the buying process, including income verification, bank statements, debt information, and more.
FNBO has a mortgage calculator, which allows you to input several figures, including an estimated home value, a down payment amount, a loan amount, the interest rate, and more, to determine what your estimated monthly mortgage payment will be.
Determine Your Wants vs. Needs
In a competitive market with lots of eager buyers, it’s likely you’ll need to make a few sacrifices if you are going to land a deal. That’s why it’s important to differentiate between your “wants,” or the things that would be nice to have, and “needs,” which are the things you absolutely must have in a home. For example, you might need to have at least three bedrooms to accommodate your whole family, while you might want an updated kitchen. With that in mind, when you find a home with four bedrooms and a slightly outdated kitchen, you will be prepared to pull the trigger. After all, you can always update paint colors and fixtures — but the home’s size is a little more difficult to change.
Be Ready to Sell
A competitive market often means an unpredictable market — which means you may find a home quicker than you had anticipated. And oftentimes, a sale is contingent on whether or not you are able to sell your current home. That’s why you should be prepared to list your home at a moment’s notice! Ensure all the paperwork is done, minor repairs are made, and high-quality photos have already been taken. Check out 13 Things to Do to Prepare Your Home to Sell for a complete list of tasks to complete before listing your home!
Pre-approval was always important but it is even more crucial in a competitive environment, with cash offers dominating the market. So make sure you are able to put your best foot forward by getting pre-approved (which is a bit more involved than getting pre-qualified). Work with your very own dedicated loan officer at FNBO to get pre-approved. They will guide you through the mortgage process and answer any questions you may have along the way! FNBO provides 24/7 online loan application, competitive rates, low down payment options, prompt pre-qualification, expedient on-time closings, and more.
Make Yourself Stand Out
In any market, if a house is priced correctly and “show” ready, sellers might receive many attractive offers. That’s why you’ll want to stand out amongst the pack by making a competitive offer the seller cannot refuse. This could include offering above asking price, making a larger down payment, making a larger earnest deposit, or stating your flexibility with the closing date or other conditions. Your agent may also want to reach out to the sellers agent to ask what other terms are most important to the sellers. This might be exactly what it takes to seal the deal for the seller!
As mentioned, things move incredibly quickly in a hot real estate market. We’ve seen homes go under contract in a matter of hours! You should anticipate this and be ready to act at a moment’s notice. Stay in close contact with your agent to make sure you don’t miss out on an opportunity to put in an offer. This is when you’ll be grateful you put in the effort to get all that prep work done. Now, all you have to do is decide to move forward as soon as the perfect home hits the market! But don’t worry — your agent will be working on your behalf to filter through and find those listings that match your budget and preferences. All you have to do is agree to and sign off on the offer — quickly!
Flexibility is key when you’re involved in a competitive market. You might have your agent reach out to the seller’s agent to see if there is anything the seller might be persuaded by — like a longer closing or inspection period so they have more time to find their next home. Or perhaps they want to bring their appliances with them or skip the process of painting the home before closing. Plus, financial incentives do wonders, such as covering the seller’s closing costs. Your willingness to compromise and accommodate can go a long way in winning over a picky seller!
Stay Patient + Persistent
The truth of the matter is: a hot market can yield a few moments of disappointment along the way. But don’t lose hope! It’s important to remain patient throughout the process, realizing that the home(s) you didn’t get wasn’t meant to be yours — and the one that is supposed to be yours is still out there! But at the same time, remain persistent, being willing to put in a little extra work to get the job done.
Founded in 1855, NP Dodge has quite a few decades of experience in the Omaha real estate market — so we aren’t fazed by this current climate! Contact us to be connected with one of our agents, who can help you through every step of the home buying process.
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