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Top 5 Tips When Buying in a Seller’s Market

This article was published at Open Listings.

Looking to get in on that perfect home in your dream neighborhood?

So is everyone else. Whether it’s the killer school district, walkability, or central location that makes your target neighborhood a top pick, odds are homes for sale in hot markets are hard to come by. That’s why we’re sharing the best tips when buying in a seller’s market.

Get started ASAP

If you’re really interested in the house, get as much info as you can beforehand: ask for property reports & disclosures, and find out when offers are due. Open Listings’ Buyer Experience team can reach out to the seller’s agent on your behalf.

Be sure to pay close attention to when any open houses are, or if possible, schedule a private house tour. But keep your schedule open, because in hot markets, this is one situation where you may not have a second chance.

Have your proof of funds and pre-approval ready

If you’ve decided you want to throw your hat in the ring and make an offer, it’s safe to assume that many others have as well and that there will be multiple offers on the home.

For truly hot markets, you’ll likely only have a day or two to get your offer in order.

Even after you’ve seen the home, speed is still the name of the game. Double check with the selling agent when he or she intends to present any offers on the home so that you can be sure to submit yours on time.

In this case, it’s crucial to have any supplemental paperwork, like your mortgage pre-approval and proof of funds for the down payment, ready to go ahead of time.

Keep your offer simple

Most offers include contingencies — things like completing inspections and receiving a mortgage commitment — that need to happen for the transaction to move forward.

When looking at offers, sellers tend to see contingencies as potential opportunities for the deal to fall apart. As a result, they’re more likely to choose an offer that’s relatively “clean” or reduces their risk of potential hang-ups.

In a competitive market, you’ll see people either removing or reducing their contingency periods to make their offer more competitive.

However, it’s also crucial that you feel comfortable moving forward. If you choose to waive your inspections, you’re agreeing to buy the home regardless of what problems may exist.

As you put your offer together, consider how far you’re willing to go. Would you rather buy this house with all its problems or wait for another property that will allow you more peace of mind?

Include a strong sale price

Aside from keeping your contingencies in check, there is one other obvious component of the offer that will help set you apart from the crowd — the offer price.

Put simply, money talks.

Sellers are likely to be enticed by a big payout, or if possible, a cash offer.

When you’re vying for a home in a popular neighborhood, you need to put your best foot forward.

As for how much you should offer, consider the asking price first. You’ll want to meet it and potentially go above. Consider the amount listed on your pre-approval as your maximum, and work within those limits.

Write an offer letter

An offer letter, or a personal note you write to the seller explaining why you’re the perfect buyer for the home, might just be the thing that sets your package apart from the crowd.

Though it sounds like blowing hot air, a little flattery goes a long way.

The ideal offer letter is short, sweet, and to the point.

In a few paragraphs, you’ll want to tell the seller why you fell in love with their home and how you picture your future there.

Here, sentimentality is key. Your goal is to connect with the seller emotionally so that they’ll be more compelled to choose you. This post has more tips and examples on how to write an offer letter that will get you the house.

Read more about it at Open Listings!

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Remalyn Estuesta

Just your average quirky millennial with a passion for writing and a pop punk girl at heart. A lover of memes and dogs, she’s usually at home reading YA novels, having a marathon of her favorite TV series, playing RPG games, and daydreaming about travelling and food.

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