Improve Your Chances of Getting the Home You Want
In this competitive 'Seller's Market', it is important that you, as a buyer, do everything possible to increase your chances of getting the property you want once you find it. With inventory diminishing daily and multiple offers being extremely common, it is of great importance that you position yourself to have the best chance to get your offer accepted.
Steps to take before you even start looking:
GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A LOAN
Unless you are paying all cash for a home, you will need to obtain financing. Sellers are aware that sometimes that is difficult for buyers so they look at potential buyers to determine if this might be a problem. The best way to eliminate this concern is to get a lender to "pre-approve" you for a loan large enough to cover any house in the price range in which you are looking. I can refer you to several reputable financing sources that will do this at no cost to you.
WORK WITH THE RIGHT AGENT
Work with a realtor who will get you information quickly, who will communicate with you clearly, and who will act quickly once you have made a decision. This means he or she should be accessible by phone, voicemail, fax, and email. They should be responsive to your requests. They should give you advice and not just tell you what you want to hear. Once you listen to their advice and make your own decision, they should respect your decisions and do everything possible to carry them out.
BE PREPARED TO PREVIEW A NEW PROPERTY QUICKLY
Well priced homes sometimes sell in hours. Be prepared to move quickly to see a new listing your agent urges you to see.
Once you have accomplished the above and see a house that fits your needs and are ready to make an offer, keep these things in mind:
SUBMIT A STRONG COMPETITIVE OFFER:
Submit the offer as if there will be multiple offers. Low inventories should not cause you to offer more than you are comfortable with but you should not assume you can start low and work your way up. Other offers may be coming in. Sellers in our market are usually very sophisticated and it is unlikely any will respond favorably to a 'lowball' offer. It is much better to make a fair first offer if you really want the home.
MINIMIZE OR ELIMINATE CONTINGENCIES:
Price is not the only factor a seller looks at when considering an offer. The strongest offers also have the fewest contingencies. If two offers come in at similar prices but one has a lot of contingencies, the buyer will likely prefer the other cleaner offer. The biggest contingency that is problematic is making a purchase contingent on you selling your current home. In a sellers market, there is no reason for a seller to accept this risk when they can accept a competing offer that does not contain that contingency. If possible, I usually recommend that you do NOT make the sale of your current home a contingency of your offer. If that is not possible, I usually suggest you sell your current home before attempting to purchase another. Even this is not always feasible and we can discuss your circumstances to determine the best course of action.
BE FLXIBLE AND READY TO ACT
If the seller makes a counter-offer, discuss the situation with your agent and make a decision as to your response. If there are multiple offers, which is not an unusual situation currently, be prepared to make decisions quickly. Make sure you and your agent are able to reach each other instantly if needed.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, do not hesitate to contact me.