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February 3, 2021
Three Tips for Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market
With mortgage rates low and people spending more time at home due to the increase in remote work, the demand for homes is incredibly high. Many people are looking to buy. But, at the end of November 2020, the number of homes available for sale was down 22% from a year earlier — the lowest inventory available since the National Association of Realtors began tracking this metric in 1982.* All this leads to one thing: a market that’s red hot for sellers and highly competitive for buyers. Looking to buy? We’ve got three tips for you as you navigate the seller’s market.
1. Get preapproved for financing ASAP.
Are you in the browsing stage of the process? You’ve probably noticed how quickly listings on the MLS shift from “new” to “pending.” Right now, there’s not a lot of opportunity for mulling over particular homes before going to see them. When you’re ready to start looking at homes with the intent to buy, you’ll need to hit the ground running with a preapproval in hand. Most realtors need to see a buyer having preapproval for financing before showing homes, which lets the realtor know you’re serious.
Like we mentioned above, mortgage rates are low right now. Low rates give buyers a bit more purchasing power, since the lower interest rate lets them stretch their budget a bit without much impact on the total cost over the life of the loan.
2. Make your best offer the first time.
The bottom line for almost any offer? Money. With most sellers likely to be fielding multiple offers, this isn’t the time to lowball. In current market conditions, sellers may have the flexibility to reject offers that come in lower than asking price. To increase the likelihood of your offer being accepted, you want to submit a strong offer right out of the gate.
3. Understand there’s more to the offer than price.
You’ve probably heard the term contingencies. When homes sit on the market for longer than sellers would like, buyers have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating contingencies, which can include things like home repairs, seller-paid closing costs, a longer time frame for inspections and more. But in the current seller’s market, you want to be as flexible as possible and limit contingencies. This isn’t the time to ask for favors or get nitpicky about minor repairs. Talk to your realtor about additional ways to boost the attractiveness of your offer based on both the particular area and specific property, such as providing a larger earnest money deposit or giving the seller an extra few days to move.
We’re here to help.
We know buying a home can be stressful and overwhelming. Our team of local, friendly Real Estate Loan Officers can help. We’d love to talk to you more about your unique situation and discuss how we can finance the home of your dreams.
*Accessed Jan. 27, 2021. Existing Home Sales Fell for the First Time in Five Months in November
Subject to credit approval.
Grow Financial mortgage loans are valid for the purchase or refinance of owner-occupied residential properties in the states of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee including single-family detached, condominiums and townhomes. Not valid for the purchase of investment properties. Grow Financial mortgage loan rates are updated daily and available at growfinancial.org.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card, personal loan and HELOC payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for personal first or second mortgages and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733