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With our shifting real estate market comes new (and in many cases) welcome problems to have to deal with. Take the relatively new occurrence of multiple offer situations in our area lately. After months (and years) of a buyer-controlled market, we are finally seeing fewer homes available and more buyers interested in the choice properties that are out there.
So what do you do if you are a buyer faced with multiple offer competition? You BEAT that competition! Here are eight ways to get around those other offers, make yours stand out and GET the home of your dreams!
Avoid a Bidding War in the First Place
One of the easiest ways to avoid a bidding war is to act fast on your interest in a home. If you see it, like it and want it – make an offer on it! There is no reason to delay things because eventually you will have a chance to look back on the purchase while it is under contract and iron out any details. But if you don’t want other buyers fighting for the same house, beat them to it.
Keep The Emotions Out of It
Some overzealous buyers that don’t have their offers accepted lash out and retaliate against the sellers. Expressing anger and disappointment through a letter or via their agent is not a smart way to handle the situation. Often the first offer on a home is not even realized, where the seller revisits other bids received, going to their next choice. If you handle rejection gracefully, maybe with a thank you letter expressing regret but that you’re interested in the home should they change their mind, you may walk away with your dream home after all.
Bring Some Personality to Your Offer
While some agents prefer to make offers on behalf of their clients in writing and other impersonal ways, the best way to do it is by bringing an element of personality into your offer. Write a handwritten letter expressing what you love about the house and that you’ll take care of it just like they have for so many years (if applicable). This will show your sincerity in wanting the house and it will also stick in their minds when they go back to review all offers received on the property.
Choose a Communicative Agent
As mentioned in the previous point, some agents choose lackluster means of communication. When hiring your agent, be sure to select someone that is warm but also on the ball and quick.
Accessibility is key for the buyers’ agent as much as it is for the sellers’. If the seller is to gauge the level of your enthusiasm then they must be getting those signals from your agent.
Know Your Numbers
Sometimes the final sales price doesn’t matter. There will be an appraisal before the home is financed, which is the value that you will end up paying on the home. Knowing in advance gives you a head start over other buyers since you will be armed with knowledge ahead of time and can anticipate a reasonable offer accordingly. You should be aware of price per square foot as well as other comparable sales in the area. Keep in mind, there may not even be a need for a bidding war because the price might be capped by the appraisal anyway.
Don’t Stray From the Straight and Narrow
Offers that are simple, cleanly written and to the point are the ones sellers respond to the most. Especially in a multi-offer situation, sellers do not want to have to rifle through endless pages of contingencies, conditions, minor detail mongering and other unnecessary things. The easier you make it for the seller, the better your chance to get the home of your dreams. Remember that at the end of the day you can go back and identify any specific wants you may have but just wait until you have an accepted offer.
Choose Your Priorities Carefully
A common request these days is for FHA buyers to request assistance from the seller with closing costs. If you are a buyer that is faced with a multi-offer situation and you have the choice to not ask for closing costs – you may just be able to win your bid after all. Most sellers today are selling their homes after 10, 20 years and they have no idea of the recent trend of closing cost sharing. To avoid this and the potential of losing your bid on the home overall, don’t ask the seller – make alternate arrangements for closing costs. Borrow from someone. Accept a gift from a family member. Tap into your savings.
Do Better Than the Rest
An excellent tool used by buyers in these situations is to offer more than everyone else. Everyone wants more money and in today’s market sellers are already getting less than what they had expected to get. If you have found the home of your dreams pay extra money to make sure your offer is the one that is accepted and it will offset any costs you may have needed to put into a less-than-perfect property otherwise.
Remember, this is a time when more buyers are vying for fewer available homes. So nothing is foolproof and there is always the potential of not winning your bid. The best defense you can have against that happening is to be prepared in advance. Get ready to be disappointed. If the home you are looking at is perfect, chances are there are others looking at it with the same eyes too. Aside from putting into our secrets into play, the best thing you can do is to stay realistic. When the right house comes along – things will fall into place. Good luck!