It’s the first weekend of May and we’re off to the races! Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has been a continuous tradition in America’s racing history and I have watched it faithfully for as long as I can remember. As we all gather around our televisions this Saturday to preview the brightest and most talented young Thoroughbreds in the country, I can’t help but think of the similarities between horse racing and purchasing a home. It’s all a gamble, isn’t it?
As an equestrian and also the (very) proud owner of a defunct racehorse, I chuckle when I think of how my incredible little Thoroughbred was an incredible waste of time, effort, and money on the track. My darling Biscuit (yes, that is his name) never made much of himself as a racehorse. In fact, Biscuit wasn’t even officially named with the Jockey Club as he was retired as a two-year-old. Sounds great, right? For Biscuit – yes. For his breeders, trainers, and the support staff that went to taking a promising potato to the track – not so much. So how does this relate to buying a home? Not all homes are as great as they seem on paper. Be mindful of your expectations when it comes to purchasing a home. Outline what is important to you with a list and give feedback to your realtor as you see homes – your feedback is key!
We know that the field of buyers in this current market are aggressive and by the time the bell rings for the gates to open, these homes have multiple offers in record time. Horse racing has always been considered the greatest two minutes in sports but it seems as if homes going from ‘coming soon’ to ‘pending’ could be neck and neck for that title. How do you get a length or two ahead of your competition? Pre-approvals, proof of funds, and a strong strategy are going to be your winning options. We are seeing a number of concessions both with appraisals and inspections but it’s imperative that you talk to your realtor to understand what those waivers mean for you.
Every time we go under contract, I always tell my clients that we are officially off to the races. If you find a home that you absolutely cannot live without, talk with your realtor about the next steps and how to write a winning offer. Each home is different and it is up to you and your agent to determine the best route to the finish line. It has been a busy spring both in Richmond and across the country for homebuyers but don’t trick yourself into thinking that a winning offer isn’t in your future because of the competition. May the odds be ever in your favor.