So you’re looking to buy a home in today’s highly competitive market! This is an exciting, and challenging time to be a buyer. Interest rates are still historically low, making this a great time to buy. But inventory is also low, and there is a lot of demand for homes. Most homes end up in multiple offer situations and bidding wars; which can leave buyers feeling frustrated and defeated. So right now I’m going to go over 5 TIPS to give your offer the best chance of getting accepted in today’s market.
My name is Emily Berdon and I’m a residential Realtor servicing the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas.
But regardless of where you’re looking to buy, here are some tools that will set you up for success.
#1 GET PRE-APPROVED
You need to get Pre-Approved. This is not the same as a “ Pre-qualification” that you get online. You’ll need to work with a lender for your pre approval. They will run your credit and calculate your debt-to-income ratio to figure out how much of a loan you will qualify for.
Nowadays, some sellers won’t even let you view their home without a pre-approval letter. Of course this doesn’t apply if you’re a cash buyer. Your Realtor should have relationships with reputable lenders they can put you in touch with. You can also ask family and friends for referrals.
An important note when picking a lender – while online lenders can be a great option to explore when it comes to refinancing, they can fall short with getting you approved in the final stages, especially if things get a little complicated. So I always recommend working with a lender you have a personal connection with for a purchase so you don’t risk missing out on getting the home of your dreams.
#2 "AUDITION" FOR THE HOME
When looking at homes, think of it as if you are AUDITIONING for the home. Nowadays, most homes have Ring video door bells and Nest cameras, so just assume that in every home you walk into, you are being watched by the Seller – and if you insult the home, you are in effect insulting the seller.
Imagine someone walking into YOUR kitchen and saying “Ugh … WTF were they thinking with that backsplash??” And then that person puts in an offer on your home… along with 10 other people. Would you choose the person who insulted your home? Probably not. Save any negative comments for after you’ve left the property. Be respectful of the home, and compliment it as you walk through. It’s amazing how far a compliment can get you.
#3 MAKE A COMPELLING OFFER
Make a Compelling offer! Here’s a secret – it’s not always the highest offer that wins, and it’s not always a CASH offer that wins either. In this market, you need to get creative and strategize to get your offer to stand out. Be sure to ask your Realtor what they can do to make your offer rise above the rest.
We are regularly seeing offers with financing beat out the cash buyers. One way is by addressing the Sellers “pain points”. What is most important to them? Do they need a quick close? A longer escrow, or a post-close occupancy (where they rent the home back from you for a period of time after the sale closes)? Would they prefer the home go to a family rather than an investor that will flip it or turn it into a rental? Find out what matters to them. Your agent can do this through communication with the seller’s agent.
Honestly, a lot of agents just send the offer over and hope for the best. I’ve seen buyers lose out on their dream home because of this.
Communication is key! If you show the selling side that you are easy to communicate with and easy to work with, they are more likely to want to work with you.
#4 REPAIR REQUESTS
Don’t make a bunch of Repair Requests.
Nothing will annoy a Seller more than accepting your offer, only for you to ask for a bunch of repairs or credits that start chipping away at the sale price. The seller most likely has backup offers in place and they will gladly cancel your deal and take another offer.
When it comes to repairs, focus on things that are health & safety issues. But keep in mind that pretty much EVERY home is going to need some level of repair.
#5 HAVE CASH READY TO CLOSE
Have cash ready to close, in case the appraisal comes in low.
One thing sellers love is a buyer waiving the appraisal contingency. How does this work? Let’s say your offer of 900,000 was accepted by the seller, but the appraiser values the home at 875,000. There is a “gap” of $25,000.
When you waive the appraisal contingency, you are saying “I will still buy the house even if the appraised value comes in lower than the price I offered.” But the issue here is that your lender is only willing to lend to you based on the appraised value of the home, not the purchase price.
So in order for you to complete the transaction I mentioned, you would need to bring an additional $25,000 to the table, on top of your down payment, and closing costs. Make sure you have some money set aside for this, as appraisers are sometimes lagging behind the market as home prices escalate.
BE SURE TO READ MY NEXT BLOG
OK, so that touches on a few of my tips for getting your offer accepted in today’s highly competitive market. But what if you need to SELL your current home before you can buy a new home? Well then you’ll want to read my next blog where I go over 6 tips for getting top dollar for your home!
If you have any questions about today’s home buying-process in the Conejo Valley, or you want more details on creative strategies that are helping buyers get their offers accepted, feel free to reach out – I’d be happy to help!
Aviara Real Estate