In today’s sellers’ market, standing out as a buyer is critical. Multi-offer scenarios and bidding wars are the norm due to the low supply of houses for sale and high buyer demand. If you’re buying, you’ll want every advantage, especially when you’ve found the home of your dreams.
Below are five things to keep in mind when it’s time to make an offer.
1. Know Your Budget
Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a loan. Showing sellers you’re serious can give you a competitive edge. It enables you to act quickly when you’ve found your perfect home.
2. Be Prepared To Move Fast
Speed and the pace of sales are contributing factors to today’s competitive housing market. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home is on the market for just 17 days. When homes are selling fast, staying on top of the market and moving quickly are key. After you’ve worked with your agent to find the home that suits your needs, they’ll help you put together and submit your best offer as soon as possible.
3. A Real Estate Professional Can Lead You to Victory
No matter what the housing market looks like, rely on a trusted real estate advisor.
Agents are experts in the local real estate market. They have insight into what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller may need can help your offer stand out.
4. Craft a Strong, Fair Offer
In the past, offering at or near the asking price was enough to make your offer appealing to sellers. In today’s market, that’s often not the case. According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from NAR, 50% of offers are above the list price.
In such a competitive market, emotions and prices can run high. Having an agent to help craft a strong, fair offer is critical in these situations. Your agent can help you understand:
- The market value of the home
- Recent sales trends in the area
- Current buyer demand
5. Understand the Seller’s Needs, but Resist Waiving Certain Contingencies
When crafting an offer, you’ll want to keep both your best interest and the interest of the seller in mind. Your trusted real estate advisor will help you consider which levers you could pull, including contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Of course, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to give up, like the home inspection.
Rose & Womble agent, Jackie Kretzer says: “The easiest way to come up with ideas on how to make your offer most attractive is to imagine you’re the seller! Any of the obstacles, risks or difficulties presented to a seller during the transaction are best addressed during the offer process. The more you can show that you’ll be protecting the sellers interests, offering security and accommodating to them during the process the more attractive your offer will look in comparison to others. Remove as many contingencies as you are able or comfortable removing, take care of as many costs of your own as you can rather than placing them within the contract.”
Rose & Womble agent, Angela Oliver says: “Making your offer stand out and is both difficult and important so find out when the seller wants to close, use a reputable local lender, put down a solid EMD amount, and discuss the multiple strategies and techniques, before you submit the offer because you will only get one chance in this market!”
Rose & Womble agent, Carrie Long says: “Work with your Realtor to get insight into what is important to the seller and be creative with terms that might be attractive like a limit on repairs and shortening contingency periods. Also do not make your terms overly complicated within your offer. If the seller does not understand what is written it will not likely be accepted.”
In today’s competitive housing market, it’s more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Connect with a local real estate professional to make sure your offer rises to the top.