Currently, we are in a cutthroat sellers market. In our area, we are currently averaging a days on market of under a week. So what can be done to get that offer in and, more importantly, get accepted? If you look around there are a ton of suggestions:
Know your must haves, your nice to haves, and what the difference is.
Be prepared for a bidding war.
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you
Get an agent to represent you. Use their expertise.
Understand your Finances.
Be prepared to move quickly.
Make a fair offer.
Stay flexible during negotiations.
Honestly, we agree with all of these suggestions. But the thing is, if this is what can be found with a google search and 2 minutes, this is what everyone is doing. So what can you do to stand out and get head?
We spoke with our peers across the US and have come up with the following.
First, the basics. You need to be extremely clear on NEEDS vs WANTS; be clear on what you CAN and CAN NOT give up. Get pre-approved and have proof of cash to close in hand.Understand that there will be times of urgency; houses will not wait for you to get off work and will not wait for the weekend, not in this market. A bidding war is likely; we are seeing an average of 3.6 offers on all homes on the market (thats just the average). This will get difficult at times and is much harder than it was a few months ago and will likely get harder as we go into spring/summer. The only thing that will stop the run-up on prices is a higher supply or higher interests rates; which will cost more than the higher prices in the end.
There are a few harsh truths that need to be stressed to everyone looking to buy a home in the near future. Prices are going up 1-2% each month in many areas. Putting that into numbers, on a $300,000 home, that is costing you $3ooo-$6ooo each month. If you are looking to buy, you can not afford to wait a few months. People are not buying homes for what they re worth right now, they are buying them for what they will be worth in a few months when they close (average close time is 45 days). You need to understand how much equity will be gained over the next year or so -or- you can let someone else gain it.
Every situation is different. Before I go into our expert tips, a bit of a disclaimer. Not all of the following suggestions will work in your particular case. Combining them can be helpful, but also, sometimes unnecessary. They are also just an opinion of what you can/may do, not what you must do. All of these are also subject to ‘if you are able’. Understand that it is ok if you are not. Most importantly, I suggest you speak with an expert about these before you decide to add them to your offer.
With that said, lets look at what you can do to stand out, and get that offer accepted:
If a home is listed as “coming soon” ask if you could see it early.
Write a strong offer sight unseen. You have the due diligence period to inspect and may pull out if something come up during that period.
Come in with an early strong offer with your top price, best terms, and a short closing period. Let them know it needs to be accepted by a certain date. If they don’t accept, let them know to come to you if they don’t get a better offer. (This is gutsy, but it can be quite effective).
Ask your broker if they allow dual agency, and if so, ask what they have on the market. Ask if you can see the home.
Look at expired listings (homes that didn’t sell). Contact the agent/seller. Ask what happened, ask to see any inspections/appraisals that happened, and ask to see the home.
Shorten or waive any contingencies you can.
Add into the contract that the inspection will be for information purposes only and that NO REPAIRS WILL BE REQUESTED.
Offer that you will gift the inspection to the owner, regardless of IF the contract continues.
Offer a large earnest money deposit.
Don’t ask for closing costs if you do not have to. To take this a step further, offer to also pay the seller’s closing costs.
Add an escalation clause; if worried, add “with proof of competing offer”.
Offer to buy your own warranty.
Offer a “moving allowance” to reduce the cost of the seller moving.
Offer to pay above appraisal when you cant pay cash.
Include “Non-Refundable-Option-Money” in the offer.
Have an inspector come with you during viewings for a ‘consulting fee’. It’s not the official inspection, but you will have a much better idea going in this way.
Post on Facebook (marketplace, neighborhood groups, etc.) You may find a home BEFORE it goes on the market. My sister-in-law owns a home, right across from her brother, in a home she made an offer on, before the owner had even spoken to an agent because of this. On that note, speak to your neighbors as well.
Write a letter of introduction. I can not stress this one enough. Selling a home gets emotional. If they feel connected to you, and your story, you will stand out to them. The woman who sold their home to my wife and I admitted that she picked our offer because she liked us. She also admitted we were the only ones to write a letter. It was one page, and had pictures of us at the bottom.
These are the Tips that our Team came up with (with some help from our peers). If you need any additional help, please feel free to contact us!