Are you planning to buy a home this spring? Though things are more balanced than they were a year ago, it’s still considered a sellers’ market. So, when you find the home you want to buy, remember these tips to help make your best offer and better your chances of getting it accepted!
1. Lean on a Real Estate Professional
Whether this is your first home purchase, or you consider yourself a veteran, relying on a real estate agent who can support your goals is one of the smartest moves you can make when putting in offers. As Bankrate notes:
“. . . select the best real estate agent for your needs. They will be a critical part of your home buying process.”
Agents are local market gurus. They know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. Don’t underestimate the value of a professional! It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller needs can help your offer stand out.
2. Make Sure the Price is Right, While Keeping Your Budget in Mind
We all want to make the most competitive offer, but understanding your budget is equally as important. As Sandy Higgins, Senior Wealth Advisor at Capstone Financial Advisors, puts it:
“Understand your current budget … what are your expenses, how’s your spending, would you need to make changes?”
The best way to understand your budget is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a specific amount. It helps you be more financially confident, and it shows sellers you’re serious. That can give you a competitive edge. Once you decide on an offer price, keep in mind that this will be the first thing the seller sees, so be sure to consider it carefully. If you’re going to offer above the asking price, have a clear “max” you’re willing to go. Otherwise, you could end up buying a home outside of your budget!
3. Think Through Everything Before Making an Offer
As we already mentioned, today’s market isn’t moving at the record pace it did during the pandemic. That means you may have a bit more time to think things through before you need to make an offer. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:
“In general, you likely have more time to make an offer, although that’s certainly not a guarantee. If you’re on the fence about a home or its asking price doesn’t quite fit your budget, you might want to keep an eye on it, and if it doesn’t sell right away, you may have some room to negotiate with the seller.”
While it’s still important to stay on top of the market and be prepared to move quickly, there can be more flexibility today. Lean on the advice of your agent as you explore the options in your market.
4. Work with Your Advisor To Negotiate
During busier years, some buyers will skip home inspections or won’t ask for any concessions from the seller when submitting their offers in order to give it an edge above the rest. Fortunately, today’s market is different, and you may have more negotiating power than before. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about the seller’s wants and needs when writing your offer. Being agreeable to the seller can go a long way. That might mean you limit your ask for extras, or you include an escalation clause, or if the seller needs to move out still, perhaps you agree to a longer escrow. When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you think through what levers to pull, and which to leave as-is.