A slower market can be a great place for a first-time homebuyer to start to dip their toes into the market. Most agents will be advising their sellers to bring their homes onto the market after the first of the year. Usually at this time of year hardly anyone is looking to buy, distracted by Holiday spending and the New Year. Talk about slow, there are only 14 homes on Brokers Tour for all of Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito and Richmond for this week!
Buyers can use this slow down to make sure that they have their pre-qualification letters in place, have discussed monthly payments with their lenders, and have established a comfortable offer maximum. Knowing that your lender is ready, and exactly how much home your family can afford will allow you to start shopping and offering with confidence when the market begins to pick up with new inventory again after January first.
This slow Holiday period is also a great time to go back to homes that you viewed over the past couple of months, and find out from your agent what they closed for. This will give you a good idea of what prices for comparable homes in size to what you want, in neighborhoods you like sold for. This is great preparation to be able to make a competitive offer for similar homes after the new year.