As a buyer in a sellers’ market, you may feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, especially when inventory is as low as it is today. When you do find the right home, here are five tips to keep in mind that will help you make the best offer possible.
1. Know Your Budget
Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a loan. As Freddie Mac notes:
“This pre-approval allows you to look for a home with greater confidence and demonstrates to the seller that you are a serious buyer.”
Showing sellers you’re serious can give you a competitive edge. It enables you to act quickly when you’ve found your perfect home.
2. Be Ready To Move Fast
Speed and the pace of sales are contributing factors to today’s competitive housing market. According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“Seventy-nine percent of homes sold in January 2022 were on the market for less than a month.”
When homes are selling fast, it’s important to stay on top of the market and be ready to move quickly. A skilled agent will help you put together and submit your best offer as soon as you find the home you want to buy.
3. Lean on a Real Estate Professional
No matter what the housing market looks like, rely on a trusted real estate advisor. As Freddie Mac says:
“The success of your homebuying journey largely depends on the company you keep. . . . be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who will help you make informed decisions and avoid any pitfalls.”
Agents are experts in the local real estate market. We have insight into what’s worked for other buyers in the area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. Your agent will help you understand how to cater to what a seller needs, so your offer stands out.
4. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer
According to the Realtors Confidence Index from NAR, 46% of offers today are above the list price. That means when you’ve found your dream home, offering below or even at a home’s asking price may not be enough right now.
Lean on your agent to help you understand the market value of the home and recent sales trends in the area so you can craft your best offer.
5. Be a Flexible Negotiator
When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you consider which levers you can pull, including contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Of course, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to give up, like the home inspection. Freddie Mac explains:
“A home inspection contingency gives you the opportunity to have the entire home you’d like to purchase examined by a professional before you close on your contract. Without this contingency, you could be contracted on a house you can’t afford to fix.”
Today’s competitive landscape makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Let’s connect to make sure you rise to the top along the way.