If you’re a buyer in our market, there are four things you can do to beat the competition and win the home you want.
First, make sure your financing is in order. Simply put, you must be pre-approved and have a clear picture of what you can afford. Talk to a lender and make sure your financing is squared away so you don’t have to tie up any loose ends when you find a house you like. Once you do find a house you like, you can have your lender work with another local lender to call that house’s listing agent on your behalf and vouch for your readiness to purchase the house.
Another thing you can do to prove to the seller that you’re financially stable is to provide a larger earnest money deposit. Usually, the market stipulates roughly a 1% earnest money deposit, but if you can go any higher than that, you’ll look like a much stronger buyer. Remember—the earnest money deposit goes toward your down payment, so it stays in your pocket. There are also contingencies in place to protect it for you.
Second, consider switching strategies and buying a fixer-upper home or one that’s in less-than-perfect condition. Most buyers typically look for the same things in a home (granite countertops, hardwood floors, etc.), but the fact is you have to pay for those types of move-in ready features. In a competitive market like ours, everyone is rushing to get the same type of deal. Buying a fixer-upper home with a little equity already built into it might end up being a better deal for you than buying a home for top market price.
Third, include a personal letter with your offer. Doing this is optional, and buyers should realize that even if you do write such a letter, the listing agent isn’t obligated to present it to the seller. However, they usually do, and we’ve seen them change the course of many offers and get those buyers better deals. Real estate is an emotional process, and if you write the seller a letter telling them who you are and why you want to purchase their home, it might tug on their heartstrings.
In fact, we recently had a buyer client beat out several other offers for the same home—even though their offer was the lowest-priced—because they wrote a letter to the seller. The quality of an offer doesn’t always boil down to price. The little details matter too, and including a personal letter in your offer might make it stand out in a competitive situation.
Finally, make sure you work with a real estate expert. Make sure they do a lot of business in the area you’re focusing on, because they might know of some off-market properties you’d be interested in. By “off-market properties,” we mean sellers who haven’t put their home on the market yet because they don’t think they’d be able to find their next home. If your agent can find one of those sellers a new home, they can give you an opportunity to view that seller’s current home before anyone else.
If your agent does a lot of business in the area you want to buy, you have a better chance at being awarded those opportunities. If you’re a buyer in our local market, we at Atlas Premier Realty can definitely make those opportunities happen for you.
If you have any other questions about how to compete as a buyer in our market or you have any other real estate needs, feel free to call or email us anytime. We’d love to speak with you.