Guest column: Pre-qualification is essential in today’s market | Opinion

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Let’s talk about the importance of being prequalified in today’s competitive marketplace.

If you remember last week I told you about the importance of working with a local real estate agent and how your agent can help you navigate the home buying process. Having a prequalification letter in place before you start looking for homes is an important first step on the path to home ownership.

The reality of today’s real estate market is that there are far too few homes on the market for the number of buyers in place and ready to purchase those homes. At the time of today’s writing, there are 43 homes for sale in Del Norte County. These homes include all mobile homes in a park, all manufactured homes on land, and all homes with a view. Their price ranges from $45,000 to $2,950,000. There are a few homes that are sold by owner and are not represented in this count.

Add to the low inventory the number of people looking to buy a home. Currently, there are 103 active real estate agents in our community trying to help their clients buy a home.

Think about it for a minute, there are 103 active Realtors© and 43 active properties. Assuming each agent has only one client they work with, there are at least two buyers for each property.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the reality of the situation. If you’re looking for a stick-built single-family home, there are 34 as of today’s writing, and if you need financing to buy that home, your inventory to choose from is only 28. houses. If you start narrowing your search down to your budget, you could easily have one or two homes to choose from.

So now when you find the home you want, you have to think about your competition. Properties receiving multiple offers are very common in this market. If there is an offer between you and another, your offer does not have a pre-qualification letter and the other offer does, there is a good chance that your offer will be placed in a fallback position during that the offer with the loan in place will be accepted.

If you’re a first-time home buyer, I strongly recommend having a chat with a local real estate agent© so you can save yourself some disappointment down the road.

Donna DeWof is a seasoned realtor and was named 2021 Realtor of the Year by the Del Norte County Board of Realtors.

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