PART THREE: BUYING IN A SELLER’S MARKET
SEVEN TIPS TO GET YOUR OFFER ACCEPTED
Hopefully the last two blog posts in our series, “How to Buy in a Seller’s Market,” have helped you realize that you can buy a home in a seller’s market with a little patience and creativity. Now, I’m going to share why it is equally important to work with an experienced broker who will help you avoid some common mistakes and make your offer more appealing to sellers.
#1 GET PRE-QUALIFIED FOR A HOME LOAN
Time is of the essence so make sure all your ducks are in a row. The only way for a seller to know that you are serious about buying a home and are financially able to, is to be prequalified by a lender. The lender will check for a high credit score, low debt-to-income-ratio, and consistent income.
#2 WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED BROKER
You will have a better chance of getting the home you want with an experienced broker who is dedicated to looking out for your best interest. In most cases, your broker’s commission is paid by the seller so there’s really no reason not to work with a broker. We have a pulse on the market and often hear about homes before they come available. And once you find a home, we quickly prepare an offer and negotiate the best price and terms up-front.
#3 MAKE YOUR BEST OFFER
Offering lower than the asking price is a reasonable strategy when the home has been on the market for some time and there are no offers. But in a competitive market where multiple offers are commonplace, it’s important to bring a strong offer to the table. Conventional offers and cash buyers have an advantage, but an offer will stand out if it has less contingencies, a quick close, and buyers who are willing to cover closing costs. FHA and VA buyers are able to compete but it might take more offers, time and patience.
#4 KEEP CONTINGENCIES REASONABLE
A home contingency means an offer has been made but the final sale depends on certain criteria that need to be met. Common contingencies that should be in every contract, include: inspection or feasibility, and financing. We live in a buyer beware state so these contingencies protect you. To make your offer as clean as possible, leave out a title contingency and forms that are already in the purchase and sale, and consider not asking for personal property like free-standing appliances or seller concessions like small repairs or help with closing costs.
#5 DON’T OVERANLYZE THE PURCHASE PRICE
You’re likely to miss out on a home if you take too much time analyzing the purchase price, which is why I encourage clients to set their budget and commit to sticking with it. This way, you can make a quick yet smart decision when you do see a home you want. Not sure what type of home, location, and price range you want? Looking at homes will help you determine what features are most important to you and what you can live without.
#6 INCLUDE AN ESCALATION CLAUSE
In a multiple offer situation, you may want to consider including an escalation clause if you can offer more but would rather not. Basically, an escalation clause from the buyer says, “I’m offering this price, however, I will increase my offer by this much over the best competing offer until I reach my top number.” Legally, the seller must show the buyer the other offer that escalated their offer.
#7 WRITE A LOVE LETTER
In a similar offer situation, I have seen sellers choose one buyer over another because of a love letter. A love letter from a buyer tells sellers why they should accept their offer, sparks a connection and appeals to sellers on an emotional level. To start, pick three reasons you’d be the best buyer for this home. Legally, the buyer must write the letter. The seller’s broker must present the letter, so I would ask the seller to sign it.
Are you thinking about buying? Call Columbia River Realty today.
Charline Wright believes that everyone has a unique skill or ability to contribute to the world, and creates an accepting environment where she passionately encourages those around her to develop their strengths and find the courage to pursue what makes them happy.
As the owner of Columbia River Realty, Charline quickly attracted a loyal tribe of confident and capable brokers who share her passion for helping others achieve more than they thought possible. She brings more than a decade of real estate and leadership development experience, and a passion for community involvement.
In her free time, you can find Charline and her husband on their 90-acre farm 5 miles east of Washougal in the Gorge National Scenic Area. The farm has been in her family for four generations.