5 Tips for Homebuyers Shopping for a New Chicago Home This Summer

Historically, summer is the best time to sell a home, and it is usually the season when homes are the priciest. As a home buyer, you’ll find more homes for sale during the summer, but they’ll likely cost you more than at other times of the year. It pays, then, to know what to expect and the strategies to deploy to get the home you want at the best price possible. Read on to discover our top 5 tips for homebuyers shopping for a new Chicago home this summer.

1. Understand the Challenges

The first of our tips for homebuyers shopping for a new Chicago home this summer is that they should have a good understanding of the challenges they’ll be facing. 

The first challenge is that home prices are still rising. Although the rate of price increases has slowed, prices are, nevertheless, still going up. For example, in 2021, the “national median existing-home price climbed to $350,300 in May, up 23.6% percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.”

In addition, inventory still lags way behind demand. This means that “a glut of buyers are competing for a limited number of pricey homes.”

And although mortgage rates reached historic lows not long ago, interest rates are now going up. And industry watchers expect this trend to continue unabated.

What these challenges mean for you as Chicago home buyer this summer is that the expertise of an experienced Chicago will be more important than ever. To discover more about what an agent can do for you, just call 773.233.2301.

2. Get Pre-Approved Early On

Another of our top tips for homebuyers shopping for a new Chicago home this summer they should get pre-approved for a mortgage before beginning the house-hunting process. According to industry pros, “[i]n order to be ready to make an offer on a home in today’s market, you must get pre-approved for a mortgage.”

“A mortgage pre-approval is a written statement from a lender affirming that you’ve qualified for a home loan on a preliminary review of your credit report, income, debt, and financial accounts. Including a pre-approval letter when you submit an offer on a house shows the seller that you’re a serious and qualified buyer.”

With a pre-approval letter in hand, you’ll be perceived as a serious buyer and will, as a result, have far more negotiating leverage. Just be sure to compare shop lenders for the best deal, applying for pre-approval with at least three different lenders.

3. Make a “Clean” Offer

Before the current market conditions were in place, it was common for sales contracts to contain contingencies. But the low inventory, high demand, and rising prices, such contingencies are becoming less common and less acceptable to buyers. So this one of our tips for homebuyers shopping for a new Chicago home this summer has to do with making an offer as “clean” as possible, that is, with few to no contingencies.

Contingencies are contract clauses that specify that certain conditions have to be met before the sale can go through. “For example, a home inspection contingency allows buyers to ask sellers to make repairs if they uncover problems during a property inspection. A financing contingency requires that the buyer’s mortgage get approved before they’re obligated to close on the property.”

Not that sellers are getting so many offers, “buyers have less room to require contingencies. As a result, sellers prefer a so-called ‘clean” offer that waives contingencies.

Still, contingencies can protect you as a buyer. Be sure then to consult an Chicago agent at 773.233.2301 before waiving all contingencies in your offer this summer.

4. Know the Local Market

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include among our tips for home buyers an admonition to know the local market. Local markets vary widely, so you need to know what’s going on in the Chicago market this summer. Here’s what the experts recommend . . . 

“Home prices jump 9%, on average, from January to June, and much higher in some areas of the country . . . While the most expensive time to buy is most often June or July — and inventory is generally higher then too — some areas buck this trend and see the highest prices as late as December.

Housing market behavior is very localized, so get to know the one where you’re hoping to buy.”

Again, this points up the importance of working closely with an experienced Chicago agent.

5. Work With the Right Lender and Agent

And this leads to the last of our tips for home buyers: making sure to work with the right lender and agent.

“Houses are flying off shelves. . . . Since there’s a good chance you’ll need to have a pre-approval letter at a moment’s notice, . . . working with a loan officer who is available nights and weekends is especially important.”

‘In addition, finding a real estate agent who has good relationships with other agents in your market is critical . . . Homes are going under contract even before they go on the market . . . You need to have an agent who hears about listings before they go live. When meeting with prospective agents, ask what the agent does to find listings before they go on the market.”

If you’re shopping for a Chicago home this summer and want to get the best deal possible, contact us today for more tips for home buyers.