The real estate housing market is hot in most parts of the country. Demand is up, prices are down, In some hot areas, homes can sell in as little as 25 days despite the average being 86 days. That means you need to have the right strategy if you want to beat out the competition and land the home of your dreams.
In the past, it would have been possible to make lower offers on properties and still be taken seriously. Today, even in slower seasons, this is not the case. Some could argue that we’re transitioning from a buyer to a seller market, but either way it’s good to arm yourself with knowledge. As a buyer, how can you compete? In this guide, we’ll discuss the best ways to make sure your offer comes out on top every time.
1. Act Quickly
The first tip is also the simplest: act fast. If homes are selling quickly in your market, you don’t always have time to waste. How can you expect to act quickly with a huge decision like buying a home or investment property?
The key is to do your research in advance. If you’ve already researched the market and local information before you start your search, you’ll be better equipped to identify a good deal.If you’re using an online listing service, make sure you sign up for email alerts. The faster you spot homes you’re interested in, the faster you can act against a competitive market.
2. Stop Holding Out
A lot of inexperienced buyers hold off on making a fast move because they’re “holding out” for something better. While it’s understandable where this mindset comes from, it’s also important to overcome it. Realize that there’s no magic gem waiting around for you to discover. If you wait too long, you’re likely face rising prices and miss out on the best properties.
3. Prepare Your Finances
If you’re like most buyers, you’re probably not planning to pay with cash. That means you need to show the seller you’re a serious homebuyer, and that you can actually afford this property. Having a mortgage pre-approval in advance is key.
Note that this isn’t the same as pre-qualification. This doesn’t mean much in the real estate world. A pre-approval shows that your finances have been vetted by a bank to demonstrate that you can, in fact, afford to make an offer on this home.
4. Be an Ideal Customer
Making the seller’s life easier will go a long way to getting your offer noticed. In general, sellers like buyers that take the initiative and act fast. Even if you don’t have cash or you can’t offer the best price, you can still stand out in this area.
One great way to do this is to schedule a home inspection immediately. This shows the buyer you’re serious about moving this process along, and they might be attracted to that speed. In addition, you can offer the buyer a rental agreement once you own it. This could be a great idea if your timeline doesn’t match up with theirs.
5. Talk to the Seller
A bit of communication goes a long way. While it might sound weird, talking to or writing a letter to the seller can help you win the sale at the end of the day. Explaining how the house affects your lives or how attracted you are to the safe neighborhood could help sway the seller’s decision.
While it might sound crazy, it’s shown that a personal letter increased an offer’s chance of success by up to 9%. Those are impressive odds in a fast market.
6. Keep Trying (And Trying)
Sometimes things don’t work out. Higher bidders will happen, but you can still make it work. Before you start your search, keep in mind your “walkaway number.” This is the number you absolutely cannot pass. At this point, you’ll need to walk away from the sale.
Bidding wars can get nasty and emotional if you’re not careful, so setting these limitations in advance will put you in the right headspace. Even if you lose the bid, you can offer to be a backup offer in case the first deal falls through. At the end of the day, it’s always better to have bid and lost than to overbid yourself and have to follow through with a home you can’t afford.
Landing the Home
In a competitive market, it can sometimes feel like every person is in it for his or herself. While this can be true in some sense, you don’t have to accept the cards blindly as they fall. These are all steps you can take to speed up the process and get your bid noticed, even when it’s not the highest one on the table.
Buying a home can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. On the other hand, selling your home can also be overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin. Find out more here about selling your home quickly, but realize that the housing market is a two-way street. Everyone can be a winner if everyone is prepared. Are you ready to find your dream home?