We are off to another grueling season of homes flying off the market and competitive bidding wars. While this is a very exciting time for seller’s, it can be a very daunting market for prospective buyers. Here are some tips if you plan on buying this year:
Buyers should talk with their mortgage broker and get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to seriously looking at homes. Knowing what you can afford will help you gear your search appropriately and will prevent you from going out and finding that perfect home- only to realize it is way out of budget. Beyond that, in this competitive market, offers submitted without a valid pre-approval are very rarely considered.
Accommodate the Seller
In a ‘Seller’s Market’ there are more buyers then there are homes available for sale. This means that the seller holds most of the control and therefore the buyer should do their best to accommodate them in their offer. Some suggestions are: working with the seller on their ideal timeframe, not asking for personal property, minimize the number of contingencies/conditions, and by putting down a stronger deposit.
Write a Love Letter
I always recommend to my buyers that they write a “love letter” to the seller on why they love the home and why it would be a great fit for them and their family. I find it to be a great personal touch to an otherwise emotionless offer. While important, the net price is not always the only driving factor for a seller. A home has a lot of sentimental value and for a longtime homeowner- knowing that their home is going to a good family that will cherish the home as much as they did can seal the deal.
Work with a Real Estate Agent
My last bit of advice is to work with a knowledgeable, experienced Realtor who has your best interest in mind. They will work with you on your initial search and guide you in the right direction when you do find that perfect home. They will work/build a rapport with the listing agent to figure out what the seller’s motivations are, help you write up a strategic offer and work hard to make sure that all your needs/wants are met and addressed during the process. Not to mention, working with a buyer’s agent is FREE!