1. Get pre-approved. This will help you narrow your search and creates less risk for sellers. Most sellers won't even accept an offer from a buyer who's not pre-approved. In a competitive market like the one we're in right now, says Jack Kestell, president of the Spokane Association of Realtors, the less risk a buyer's offer carries, the better.
2. Visit open houses. Get a sense of how much houses are going for. Until you get inside a home and are able to see its value, you won't be able to recognize a good value.
3. Come up with a list of amenities — features you definitely want in a home — but be open throughout the process. "I have seen many buyers tell us what they want, only to see that change drastically after being open and seeing what other options are out there," says Joe Frank, Greenstone Homes president.
4. Hire a professional home inspector if a seller accepts your offer. Otherwise you could be stuck with the bill for repairs.
Four tips for home sellers
1. First impressions matter, and they start with a picture. It might not be a bad idea to hire a photographer. Or if you'd rather take them yourself, make sure they're in focus. When showing your house, clean off the countertops (that makes counter space look larger) pick up clutter around the house and maybe touch up the paint.
2. Do not be in the home while a potential buyer is viewing it. The owner's presences makes buyers apprehensive, says Jack Kestell, president of the Spokane Association of Realtors,
3. Price the home accurately. Take into consideration what other homes in the area have sold for, and see how they compare to your own regarding size, condition and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Homes that are priced according to the current market sell much faster.
4. When showing your home, turn on all the lights and open some windows for the fresh air (if it's warm enough). Consider taking any pets to the park while potential buyers are walking through.
Slow and Steady
Although the growth in new residential housing in Spokane is slow, it's growth nonetheless. This data uses new building permits for single family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings to track the the modest increase. Although residential building permits don't guarantee anything will be built, they are generally considered good indicators of growth, says Joel White, executive officer for the Spokane Home Builders Association. What's the largest new up-and-coming development? White says Eagle Ridge in south Spokane has already sold 28 new homes this year, more than any other development.