County home prices have increased 10.2 percent since the pandemic began. That makes the process of purchasing a house stressful for even the most hardcore money savers. While interest rates are at historic lows — an average 2.89 percent in September — it is hard to find many scenarios where it is cheaper to buy than it was a year ago.
Get Pre-approved for a mortgage
Having financing in order before the price war begins is key because it helps potential buyers act quickly on a house where there are multiple offers.
The basic reason is sellers often have a fear that a sale will fall through because of financing, so if a buyer has that ahead of time, it will make it a more attractive bid if there are multiple offers.
Get a head start on competition
A lot of listings nowadays have virtual and 3D tours that can help potential buyers learn about a place before they can actually see it.
Under California COVID-19 restrictions, real estate agents cannot hold open houses, and agents are limited to one showing at a time. Requirements include wearing masks and signed waivers. Buyers can get a head start by viewing 3D tours common on sites like Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com and Trulia. It isn’t that different from photos — but it does allow for potential buyers to experience what it is like to walk throughout the property.