Top Five Tips for Competing in a Seller's Market

If you've been looking for a home very long, you've probably noticed that we are (and have been) in a seller's market. In certain areas of town, for sure, it's like the moment a home comes on the market, 10 people are vying for it, waiving terms and raising their bids. And still losing out. 

So what's the best way to actually get the home you want? Here are my top five tips on how to compete in this crazy market...

1) Hire a realtor. Ideally me, but someone who knows how the market works, and knows how to write a competitive offer. 

2) Be ready. I know, sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised. In this market, the best way to be thwarted and frustrated is for "THE HOUSE" to hit the market, and you've not thought through exactly what you're planning to do, and miss it because of that.

  1. Do you need to sell your home first? This is not a deal breaker in every case, but make sure it's ready. That means clean, declutter, make any necessary repairs, etc. Don't wait until you find something, then have to scramble to get your house ready for market. In this market, no one is going to want to, or need to, wait for you to do that.
  2. Have you been pre-qualified? Talk to a lender and make sure they are ready to go. Have a pre-qualification letter in hand, or know that you can get one quickly. If the perfect house comes up on a Saturday, and your lender is at the beach, you could lose it if everyone else has their ducks in a row.

3) Be ready to make a decision! I know that sounds crazy too, but again, you'd be surprised. It is surely stressful, but in the event that you find something, you want to be able to move quickly in most cases. There is often not time to get Mom and Dad, your best friend, or anyone over for a second opinion, so if you NEED their opinion, bring them the first time. (In line with this, don't get caught up in the auction mentality and feel like you want something just because everyone else does. You probably don't have to move immediately, and you definitely don't want to compete for a house you don't love. That is the worst kind of buyer's remorse!

4) When you write the offer, remember, sometimes the terms are as important to the seller as the price. Maybe they want to sell before they buy, and need a little extra flexibility in time. Maybe they are starting a new job in 45 days and want to be done before they leave, so a quicker close is more important. Maybe you can make the inspection terms more favorable for them. There are so many things that we can do in terms that sometimes make a huge difference. Let's talk. 

5) Don't get attached. I promise you (and I don't make idle promises) that in 15 years, only once has someone lost a house, found another, and didn't feel like things worked out for the best. I absolutely, positively feel like things work out the way they are supposed to. So yes, picture yourself their, fall a little bit in love, but don't plan your holiday party there until you know for sure it's your house. 

This really is the tip of the iceberg! Call me and let's talk. You can often be more competitive than you think you can.