When demand outpaces supply, it becomes more challenging for would-be buyers to get their offer accepted. In a seller’s market, homebuyers need to implement strategic methods if they want to get the home that’s at the top of their list. Following are some tips to make your offer stand out in a competitive market.
Keep the Offer Straightforward
Whenever possible, keep your offer clean. Avoid adding in caveats and contingencies on things like special inspection results, closing deadlines or financing terms. Sellers will prefer an offer that is easy and straightforward over an offer where they anticipate a lot of potential hassle and nail-biting.
Include a Personal Note
Because sellers and buyers rarely meet prior to making a deal, the selling process is very impersonal. You can tilt the odds in your favor by including a personal note with your offer. This makes your offer stand out because:
- Homeowners like to see that a new owner will take care of their home the way they did over the years.
- It gives sellers a way to feel good about selling their home to deserving people.
- It humanizes the financial transaction.
- It gives buyers a chance to explain what they feel is special about the house and why it’s so important for them to purchase it.
Offer More Than the List Price
If your finances allow, consider offering slightly over the list prices. Even in a seller’s market, sellers rarely expect to get more than they asked for. Your offer will stand out as financially lucrative because few other buyers will consider starting out with an offer over listing.
Contact the Listing Agent
Sometimes an old-fashioned phone call to the listing agent will help get an offer noticed. During the call, the agent can discern the true reasoning behind the sale, which can give a potential buyer a head start. Ask the listing agent things like:
- Why is the home being listed?
- What’s the most important goal of the sale?
- Are the sellers hoping for a certain kind of buyer?
- Is there a preferred settlement date?
- How much buzz had the listing attracted so far?
Get Fully Pre-Approved
Most home sales fall apart because of financing issues. Buyers can ensure their offer stands out by including the fact that they are fully pre-approved. Be sure the pre-approval is accompanied by a lending offer and is not just a basic pre-approval dependent on other financial conditions being met.
Have Earnest Money Ready to Go
A serious offer should always be accompanied by an earnest money check. Typically, this will be 1% of the offer amount. If the earnest money is a little bit over that percentage — say, 5% or 10% — sellers will certainly take notice and realize that those potential buyers are extremely serious about the offer.
With the help of a seasoned real estate agent and these helpful tips, buyers should be able to see their offers accepted — even in a competitive market. For more information about getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan, give us a call!