Buying a house in a competitive market can be stressful.
You constantly check for new listings, you’re putting offers within a few days, and your offer still gets beat out. What gives?
When houses hit the market and are sold a day later, it can be tough to stay competitive among all of the other active buyers in the area. Lucky for you, there are a few ways to make your offer stand out.
Find the seller’s motivation.
Every seller is different. Some want to get the highest price for their house. Others may have an accepted offer on another house and are looking to make a quick sale. Realtor®️ Mindi Kessenich says “ I always try to find out the preferred closing date and write that in.” Whatever their motivation is, knowing what they need will help you create your offer for them.
Offer Over Asking
This may not be your first choice, but offering over asking is one of the best ways to stay competitive. Most sellers will choose the highest price as long as the rest of the offers are similar. Ask yourself if the house is somewhere you’ll live for a long time, if it’s what you’re looking for, and if it’s worth the cost. If your budget can afford it, offering over the list price will be one of your quickest ways to an accepted offer.
In a market this competitive, you don’t have time to play around and negotiate. “You want to start strong right away”, says Broker Ron Williams. Many buyers think they can compromise with the seller by sending a low offer first, then negotiate from there. What ends up happening is that a stronger offer comes in and you lose out on your dream home. “You don’t want to low-ball in times like this.” Know what you can afford so you can make a quick, strong offer that’ll come out on top.
Waive Post-Inspection Repairs
This is another great option to speed up the process for the seller. If the seller is on a strict timeline, offer to waive your right to ask for small repairs after the inspection. While this may increase some risks for you, the offer will look very attractive to any seller trying to move out ASAP. As long as you are willing to make some minor fixes if need be, this offer will help your offer very competitive.
Send a Personal Letter
Believe it or not, a very effective way to get an accepted offer is to get the seller to like you. Send the seller a personal letter explaining who you are and what you plan on doing with the house. Bonus points if you send a picture with you and your kids! Knowing that their house is going to a deserving family instead of an investor can make a seller much more interested in your offer.
When houses are listed and sold within a few days, it can be very stressful to be house hunting. Writing a competitive offer may call for some compromise on your end, but it’ll help get you into your dream home quicker.
The biggest piece of advice when dealing with a competitive market? Mindi says, “Make sure you are making a sound financial decision and not an emotional one. After all, it is likely the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime!”
Happy house hunting!