Sleep-Deprived in Seattle
Cold sweats. That feverish tingling under your skin. The tossing and turning till daybreak. Hair that has too much body for its own good. No, you’re not trapped in an early nineties love story.
You’re trapped in a breakneck, high-humidity house hunt in Seattle.
It doesn’t help that the odds are stacked against you. The market is more competitive than it’s been in ten years. Prices in some counties have gone up by more than 20% in the past year alone, and they’re expected to continue climbing over the next few years. Plus, Seattle was named the smartest city in the U.S. in 2013. Who needs an influx of geniuses when you’re trying to outsmart your competition?
Fortunately, you don’t have to stay stuck up Longfellow Creek without a paddle. Follow these 5 tips to put your sleepless nights (if not your humidity-inflated hair) to rest.
Don’t lowball it
Unless the house is “special” (read: trains blaring through your front yard every fifteen minutes), you’re not going to get a “good deal” in this dog-eat-dog market. If you want the place, be ready to pay for it. In fact, give them more than they’re asking for. The average Seattle home is selling for a full 2% over asking price right now.
Arm yourself with preapproval
We’re not talking about online mortgage lenders like Quicken Loans. Get your preapproval letter from a credible lender, and flourish it as needed on your house hunt. It will improve your odds of hanging on to your foothold with a potential property, once you find one.
Roll with the punches
Don’t haggle with the sellers over fringe details. If they want you to arrange your home inspection in three days instead of five, find a way to make it work. The more the sellers like you, the more likely you are to get their house.
Write a letter to the sellers telling them a little bit about you and offering to match their best offer. Does it always work? No. Are you going to find the occasional sentimental couple who will appreciate the idea of a nice gal like you living in their home instead of one of the nameless, faceless masses involved in the bidding war? Yep.
Keep your chin up
Even if you do everything right, you’re probably going to get turned down a number of times before you finally land your new home. Remember, this is happening to everyone. Don’t let it plunge you into depression. Keep calm, buy yourself another martini, and carry on.