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Last summer, years of pent-up housing demand and limited inventory sucked many home buyers into a bidding war frenzy that drove up home values and gave us the best-performing real estate market in several years. Now many folks are wondering if this year’s housing market will be the same.
It’s hard to tell which way the market will swing this early into the season. But one thing’s for sure: After a harsh winter, home buyers are ready to come out and play. As the competition heats up, it’s important to know what it takes to win just in case multiple offers put your dream home at stake.
Here are three simple strategies that can help you stand out above the rest.
Show Them the Money
When it comes to buying a home, Dave is a fan of the 100%-down plan: paying cash for your home. And he’s not alone. Sellers love a buyer who doesn’t waste time closing the deal. According to the National Association of Realtors, 13% of recent home sales fell through because the buyer couldn’t get financing. An all-cash offer makes the decision easy for the seller because it eliminates any mortgage-related guesswork.
If you do get a mortgage, complete the pre-approval process with your lender before you start house-hunting. Unlike a pre-qualification—a loose estimate based on speculation—a pre-approval gives you a specific loan amount the bank has approved for you. This keeps you from shopping out of your price range and allows you to make an instant offer when you find that perfect home.
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If you really want to gain an edge, put yourself in the seller’s shoes. What’s motivating them to sell? Did their kids grow up in this home? Was their family an integral part of the community? Dig deeper to learn more about their life in that home and find ways to connect.
One strategy that’s gained popularity among recent home buyers is the personal letter. Next time you’re facing a multi-bid situation, why not share your heartfelt vision for the home? Sometimes, a seller just wants to know the place they raised their family will be filled with just as much love by the next owner. It’s worth a shot to make your dream home a reality!
Hire an Expert Negotiator
When you’re caught up in a bidding war, it’s easy to let your emotions take over. That’s why it’s best to let a third-party pro—your real estate agent—handle the negotiations for you. An experienced agent brings a level head to the table and can help you strike a balance between deal-breaking demands and budget-busting bids.
Look for a real estate agent who understands the importance of communication. If you need to move quickly on a home you’re interested in, you don’t want to be left out in the cold because you couldn’t get in touch with your agent.
With the right agent—and a little luck—on your side, you’ll be on your way to enjoying one of life’s most rewarding investments: a home you can truly afford. If you’d like to find a real estate agent who has the heart of a teacher and a solid track record for winning, we can recommend one in your area.