Buying a house can be an overwhelming process, especially in a bustling city like Dallas. The housing market is competitive and fast-paced, making it crucial to have the right guidance and expertise on your side. To help you navigate the real estate landscape in Dallas, we’ve compiled a list of 11 essential tips from local real estate agents.
Whether you’re a newcomer to the area or you currently rent an apartment in Dallas, this Redfin article will provide valuable insights and strategies for success in the Dallas housing market. From understanding the local market conditions to negotiating with sellers, our expert advice will help you make informed decisions and secure your dream home in Dallas. Let’s get started.
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Before you start looking at Dallas homes for sale, the most important thing you can do as a first-time buyer is to get pre-approved with a local lender. A buyer who has already completed the pre-approval process presents as a much more viable and intentional buyer than one who hasn’t completed this step. Presenting an offer with a pre-approval makes the offer much more compelling for a seller to consider and improves the odds of success. – Tami Carter | Redfin Premier Agent
Having worked with many first-time homebuyers in Dallas, my initial advice would be to get pre-approved for a mortgage if you need a loan in order to purchase. Your Realtor, friend, co-worker, or even online sources will be happy to provide you a referral. One doesn’t necessarily have to use that specific mortgage lender for the purchase, but you must determine what you can afford. – Paul Carper | Redfin Partner Agent Carper-Miller Real Estate Group
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2. Utilize your agent’s expertise
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First-time homebuyers should listen to their realtor, who will advise them on their different options for submitting a winning offer, such as appraisal waivers, escalation clause addenda, and perhaps paying the cost of the owner’s title insurance policy. I always arm my buyers with all their choices, so they feel more confident about the offer they submit. – Holly Bell | Redfin Premier Agent
3. Come in ready to learn
Don’t assume as a first-time buyer that you should know everything – that’s far from the case. I often tell first-time buyers that they are in some ways better prepared to purchase because their eyes are open. Repeat buyers sometimes think they know how the homebuying process works, but if they haven’t bought a home in 10 years or so, the rules, market norms, and processes are very different. – Jeremy Larsen | Redfin Partner Agent, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
4. Research the Dallas market
Before buying a house in Dallas, you should research the Dallas real estate market to determine the type of property you want and the area you want to live in. This can help you understand the prices, availability, and competition in the area. – Laura-Marie Captain | Redfin Partner Agent, Century 21 Judge Fite Company
Despite higher mortgage rates, DFW will be one of the top buyers markets in the nation this year, mostly due to a surge of homes that will go on the market. Inventory is expected to hit its peak sometime in October. For February 2023, the median home price in DFW was $384,169 (up 1.6% YOY). Active listings in February 2023 were 15,743 (up 146.7% YOY). – Glade Smith | Redfin Partner Agent, LG Realty Group
The current housing market in DFW is changing. But it is still a competitive market. We are seeing a normalization in the DFW housing market. This means we are back to pre-pandemic inventory levels. This is good news for all buyers, especially first-time buyers because buyers now have more options. However, homes that are priced right and move-in ready are still seeing competition among buyers. Understanding when and how to react is important to secure the best home for your family. – Kelly Boulton | Redfin Partner Agent, Better Homes & Garden Winans
5. Decide how much house you can afford in Dallas
Your lender decides what you can borrow, but you decide what you can afford. Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs. – Lyn Innes | Redfin Partner Agent, Innes Realty
A lender will qualify you for the max amount they’ll be willing to loan you for your purchase. However, I would suggest not “maxing out” your purchase. The mortgage is the only first monthly expense to consider when buying a home. – Tony Nuncio | Redfin Partner Agent, The Nuncio Realty Group, Paragon Realtors
6. Keep an open mind when navigating the Dallas market
Planning is fundamental when looking for the home you’ll love. It’s exciting touring houses, but it isn’t easy to find the perfect house, ready to move in, with all the wants and needs that you have in mind. I invite you to be open-minded when looking and consider houses with longer days on the market, houses that are back on the market, new home construction with seller’s concessions, etc. Play smart and buy a house that’ll satisfy your needs. – Anny Ortiz | Redfin Partner Agent, Keller Williams Realty
7. Research Dallas neighborhoods
Deciding on your perfect neighborhood is one of the first steps I try to encourage homebuyers to plan when buying a house in Dallas. As a future homeowner, you must research the area you’ll be in for the coming years. When choosing a neighborhood, Things to consider could be school ratings, city population, ideal work commute, close to the city or out in the country. – LeighAnn Welk | Redfin Partner Agent, United Real Estate
It can be an exciting time as a first-time homebuyer in Dallas. Buyers should consider how many miles they’re willing to drive to and from work. Then narrow down the areas with homes that meet their criteria. Also, because the inventory is low at this time, in certain areas in DFW, buyers should be prepared for multiple offers and competition. – Linda Green | Redfin Partner Agent, United Real Estate
8. Consider your lifestyle as a Dallas homeowner
It’s best to think about what you, as the buyer, really need inside the home based on your lifestyle, so you can choose the right layout that works for you. For homebuyers with children, school districts are another important factor to consider as well. With the help of a great agent, they could hopefully find a good home based on their buyer’s criteria. – Heidi Keyvan | Redfin Partner Agent, United Real Estate
Keep in mind that where you buy not only affects the home’s current and future home value, but it also affects your lifestyle. – Vahn Patino | Redfin Partner Agent, Rendon Realty
9. Have your finances in order
Buying your first home can be exciting, and scary at the same time. Make sure you start saving money towards your down payment, have a credit score of 640 and above. A credit score of 640 and above can qualify you for a down payment assistance program. Once you know you’re getting close to being ready to buy, consult a lender to see if you qualify or to get an idea of what you need to do to get ready to buy. – Tanesa Frazier | Redfin Partner Agent, Ultima Real Estate
10. Seize the opportunity
If you hope to be an owner of real estate and live in a competitive housing market, then now may be the time to jump in and grab up your piece of real estate while many fear-driven buyers have left the marketplace. Mortgage interest rates go up and down and paying a slightly higher interest rate, although historically still low, may be better than spending money on rent while not owning real estate. Fortune favors the bold, fear not and consider seizing your piece of real estate while opportunity knocks. – Mike Kruizinga | Redfin Partner Agent, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Winans
11. Find your perfect local Dallas team
Buying your first home is the biggest financial decision of your life. Find an experienced agent that can guide you and help you understand the complicated process. Before you start looking at homes, make sure you are working with a lender that can help you understand your budget as well as the variety of programs available to first-time buyers. – Susan Romanowski | Redfin Partner Agent, United Real Estate
Partner Agents work for traditional brokerages, but have teamed up with Redfin to help customers buy or sell a home. Customers are connected with partner agents when Redfin Agents are experiencing exceptionally high customer demand or if a home is outside our direct service area.