If you are actively searching for a new home, then you know that much of the country finds itself in an ultra-competitive seller’s market. The low inventory of homes can make buying a house feel challenging, if not impossible. There just aren’t many homes for sale out there and when a nice listing does come to market, it’s met with multiple offers…..often with offer prices over asking. If you are a buyer in this market, it is important to work with an agent and sharpen your home-buying tools if you want to successfully compete. The highest offer price doesn’t always win and is worthless if the transaction doesn’t make it to close.
Here are a few buying strategies:
- Get a Mortgage Preapproval – this reassures the seller that a lender has verified your finances and you are ready to move.
- Search for homes below your spending limit – Sellers are being met with multiple, sometimes dozens, of offers over asking price. Look for homes under your budget so you can bid up while staying within your target price point.
- Find the best real estate agent possible – they are excellent negotiators, have terrific connections and are every buyer’s secret weapon!
- Keep contingencies to a minimum – one common contigency is that the home buyer must sell their existing home before purchasing the new home. Many contingencies are included to protect you, the buyer, but they can give the seller a lot of uncertainty and make your offer less competitive.
- Write a clean offer – You and your agent should find out what contingencies or conveniences are important to the seller that might give you an advantage. Make it easy for the sellers to just say yes!
When inventory is low, it’s easy to feel like the best homes are already gone. Working with your agent to develop a solid strategy can help position you to have your offer accepted. You can still find your dream home even when inventory is low.