Vicki Aubry, Realtor, ABR, SRES, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
In a reversal of fortune from just a year or two ago, we are now experiencing a market again that has low inventory – it’s back to a sellers’ market!
If you understand how to be the buyer that every seller wants to deal with, you will have success in a sellers’ market!
Obtain a pre-approval from a qualified lender
In this market you must have all your ducks in a row, so to speak, prior to shopping for homes. That means having an in depth pre-approval from a lender that has pulled your credit and seen evidence of your assets and employment history. Often, there are mistakes on credit history, so giving yourself time to work out the kinks and have a valid pre-approval will avoid problems down the road. The sellers want to be sure the offer they accept reaches all the way to closing, otherwise they will be wasting valuable marketing time to get their home sold. And, rest assured, if you like their home, there are other buyers who probably will also and you may be in competition to get the house.
Retain an experienced buyers’ agent
Sit down with an agent that knows the market and the specific areas in which you are considering living. Chances are they have sold many homes in the area and can educate you on things you might otherwise not know. Also, they can tell you what your money will buy you and help you make a “wish list” as well as a “must have” list and remind you as you see homes how closely they fit your needs. Lastly, they can help structure a successful offer on your dream home by doing a market analysis to show you the home’s true value.
Be prepared to make a decision
Sounds ridiculous, right? Not so! I often show buyers a home that they say they just loved and I ask, so shall we make an offer? They hesitate and say that they haven’t seen “enough.” My answer is that we are only looking for one home and if the particular home has everything you have been looking for in the right location for them, there is no reason to wait as more buyers (competition) enter the market every day and mortgage rates are on their way up (translation: you will have a higher payment on the next house).
Often, the home is gone once they decide to make an offer. My advice is look carefully, be thorough, but pounce when you find the right one! The goal is to avoid a multiple-offer situation.
Structuring the offer
A “clean” offer is the best in every market, but especially in a sellers’ market if you end up competing for the house. All sellers want their asking price but many other things such as closing date can be just as important, so it is best to find out what their needs are.
During times of decreased inventory, especially on move-in ready homes, there is a good chance you might be in a multiple-offer situation. If you love the house, make your best offer up front, then if you don’t get the house you will not be disappointed. Nothing is more sad than hearing afterward that they thought about it and would have been willing to pay another few thousand or accommodate the sellers’ closing date or other requests.
For more information on negotiating offers or finding a home give me a call! Rates are still good, but may be headed upward in the near future. Let my 20 years of experience work for you!