Your Mortgage: I’ve seen it. It’s happening. Be prepared

The market is changing fast — very fast. Mike Miles of Fountain Mortgage says that means people thinking about making a move should get pre-approved.

I’ve heard stories from buyers and agents about missed chances due to floods of offers flying around. But it’s different when you see it happening in front of you. It’s fast…really fast.

Here’s the recap. Someone I know is looking to downsize from his current home to a smaller home for a variety of reasons. Let’s call him JT. His current house is nice, fairly updated, and should sell quickly once it hits the market. This past Wednesday, he decided he wanted to capture the benefits of selling at a good time in the current sellers’ market. He asked his agent, whom he’s been working with off and on for two years, to provide a list of houses to view online. His thought was to see which ones looked appealing enough to go visit. He’s been informed that inventory is low, and he says he understood. But did he really? Nope. It’s like saying you understand what it’s like to have a baby. Until you have one, the concept is much different from the reality.

Of the original 20 listings he received, he quickly narrowed it down to 10 based on how they looked and were marketed online. He physically went to four or five on Thursday and was discouraged because he wasn’t impressed with the quality he saw. Friday was different. He planned on seeing another four or five, but didn’t. That’s because the second house he saw on Friday was the first property worth JT’s consideration (his words, not mine). So why didn’t JT see any other homes that day? Well, his agent contacted the listing agent on this property, which was newly listed within the past 24 hours. There were already eight offers in. Eight offers! JT was forced to make a decision. Act now and get in on the action or take a chance and see the rest of the homes on his list.

He got in on the action. He made an offer and won after conceding things in favor of the seller. I saw it all happen, too. JT was cool and calm during the back and forth, but afterwards he admitted he wasn’t sure if this was the house he really wanted because he hadn’t seen all the rest on his list. I could tell he was anxious on Friday. Saturday was a bit different. He still went to see the other houses on his list and didn’t like them. This reduced his anxiety as he quenched his thirst to make sure he didn’t miss out on another property. He was happy he pulled the trigger when he did because if he hadn’t, he most likely would have delayed the listing of his house and therefore possibly reduced his return on investment.

This market is moving fast and it can seem chaotic. I’ve seen it. My first thought while JT’s offer process was going on was that I was happy I had already pre-approved him for a home loan. There is no way his offer would have been considered if it wasn’t accompanied by his approval letter. The message of this story is to get pre-approved if you are thinking about looking for a home. I repeat, get pre-approved if you are thinking about looking for a home. It only takes a few minutes. You can even lock in an interest rate for 90 days so that the stress caused by rising rates can be kept at bay while you search for your home.

My company, Fountain Mortgage, dedicates a part of its staff to work weekends solely for situations like these. Buying and selling real estate doesn’t wait for convenience. To put yourself in the strongest position during your home search, call us anytime at 913-745-7000.

This weekly Sponsored Column is written by Mike Miles of Fountain Mortgage. Located in Prairie Village, Fountain Mortgage is dedicated to educating, and thus empowering, clients to make the best financial decision possible for their situation. Contact Fountain today.

Mike Miles NMLS ID: 265927; Fountain Mortgage NMLS: 1138268