It’s no secret that today’s real estate market is a little tight on inventory. The shortage of supply is driving up prices, increasing the number of bidding wars and pushing buyer competition to a fever pitch.
So what’s a buyer to do, hold off buying until another day? Pay tens of thousands more, just to outbid another buyer? Look in less desirable areas for their property?
Though buying a home in a competitive market may be a little challenging, you don’t have to forgo your dream house – or dream price point – to manage it. Just follow these guidelines:
If you see a property you like, there’s no time to waste. Schedule a showing that very day, and make a bid that evening if it fits the bill. Most homes stay on the market for only a matter of days, so time is of the essence – especially in in-demand neighborhoods.
Your seller likely has quite a few bids on the table, so they don’t need to make a whole lot of repairs, upgrades or concessions in order to move their property. Keep this in mind as you go about your inspections and walk-throughs. Be realistic about what’s a “must fix” and what’s not really a game changer in the long run.
Open with your best.
By the same token, a seller doesn’t really need to negotiate in a competitive market. Start with the very best offer you have, and make yourself stand out from the pack from the get-go.
Appeal to the seller.
It sounds silly, but you can actually write a letter to the seller, appealing to them about their home, your reasons for wanting to purchase it and, maybe, even details about your personal situation. If they’re considering your offer as well as a few others, the letter may be just enough to push them toward yours.
Consider backup offers.
Like a house but see it’s already pending a sale? Make a backup offer anyway. It’s not uncommon for deals to fall through. Maybe the appraisal didn’t match up, the inspection didn’t go well or funding fell through – whatever the reason, it could be good news for you!
Today’s market may be tough, but finding your dream home, at a price you can afford, is still very much doable. Work closely with your realtor and lender, heed their advice, and consider getting prequalified before you buy. This will set you up for success from the very beginning.