Today’s home market is unique because of low inventory coupled with high demand. This can make it challenging to find a house to make an offer on, and even more difficult to have your offer accepted.
Many listings today are receiving multiple offers, so it is more important than ever to make your offer stand out. Here are 5 tips for making an offer in today’s housing market.
It may seem like common sense, but it cannot be stressed enough: budget before you start house shopping.
Once you’ve taken into account all of the expenses that come with a new home (don’t forget to account for things like property taxes and home insurance), get pre-approved for a loan based on how much you can realistically afford. Taking this step early on lets sellers know that you are a serious, qualified buyer.
Work with a Pro
Buying a home can feel overwhelming and chaotic, but your local real estate agents do this every day. Use their expertise to help you craft an offer that will be appealing to a seller in your local housing market, and allow them to help you manage details that are easy to overlook.
Working with an experienced agent with a good reputation can be the difference between having your offer accepted and finding yourself trapped in house-hunting limbo.
According to the Realtor’s Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors, homes are on the market for a median of just 17 days! Knowing this going in helps prepare you for the competition.
Make a Strong Offer
In past markets, an offer at or near list price was enough to get a seller’s attention. Today, most sellers receive multiple offers, and many are over asking price. With the help of your agent, make a strong but fair offer (while sticking to your budget!). Take market value, recent sales, and demand into account.
Remember that your offer isn’t just about the price. Consider the seller’s needs when writing up your offer, and be willing to be flexible on contingencies, your deposit amount, and if you can, the amount of cash you put down.
Even if you make a strong offer, the seller still may counter with their own list of changes. Be willing to be flexible. Seriously consider counteroffers that ask for a slightly higher price, flexible move-in date, or minimal contingencies.
The bottom line is, it’s important to consider both your own needs and the seller’s when making an offer on a home in today’s competitive market. Working with a skilled agent can give you an advantage as they know the market and will help you put your best foot forward when making an offer.