Searching for the right home can be quite a challenge. Depending on the housing market, homes with certain feature may go quickly - some are even sold within a week of listing. After many hours of searching and touring homes, finding the ideal home can feel like a miracle. What is there to do when many others are also vying for the same property? Well, luckily there are many ways to push an offer past the others and into the hands of the seller as a winning bid.
Prior to making an offer, it is a good idea to talk to the bank or mortgaging company to get pre-approved. The best time to do this is prior to placing an offer on the ideal home. That will allow the lender time to research and approve which can cut down on the time it may take to be approved after making an offer, thus allowing the seller to have a faster sale. As a rule of thumb, the more quickly a home can sell, the more likely a buyer is to accept the offer. While this may not always be the case, often a seller is looking to be out of the house by a certain date so that they aren’t paying for two living arrangements. Getting pre-approved could be the deciding factor between two nearly identical offers.
Along the same vein, it should be noted that there is a difference between pre-approval and pre-qualifying. Pre-qualification is a good step to take at the beginning of the searching process, though it may not be the winning step in a bidding war. Getting pre-qualified allows banks to give a rough estimate of how much money a homebuyer could potentially borrow while getting pre-approved is a tentative promise from the bank that the buyer can borrow money for a home. Neither process is a complete guarantee of a loan, but sellers look for pre-approval over pre-qualification because there are more specific numbers involved.
Just as it is important to get the ducks in a row prior to placing a bid, talking to professionals and hiring one that seems most fit is a great step to help in multiple offer situations. Often times a buyer will just go with the first real estate agent with whom they speak. This can work out on occasion, but it’s not always the best plan of action. Interviewing many agents prior to hiring one can ensure that there is a good relationship between agent and client, allows the buyer to find someone with experience in finding the types of homes the buyer is interested. During the interview process, it’s a good idea to have a list of questions that will allow the client to know what the agent can do for them in certain situations; this includes inquiring about how the agent deals with multiple offers. Interviewing can allow buyers to find an agent who has good rapport with other agents.
Someone selling a home with multiple offers made could also be working with a real estate agent, in which case hiring an agent who is in good standing and is friendly with other agents could work to the buyer’s benefit. The selling agent is the one going through the offers and may have some influence over which offer is chosen. If there is an offer coming in from a buyer with an agent that the selling agent knows well, they are likely more willing to work with that buyer as opposed to working with a buyer that is one their own or using an unfamiliar agent.
Ideally, having a handle on the current status of the housing market can allow a potential buyer to make a more educated offer that could stand out among other offers. Keeping one eye on similar homes and what they have sold for in recent months can show whether the seller has priced the home too high in order to allow for room to negotiate costs or whether they have priced the home at exactly the price they would like for the home. Comparing homes is best done when both homes are in a similar area, have the same square-footage, and have similar room numbers or layouts. There will be some differences between the homes, so it may be worth the time to look at multiple homes that recently sold to get a solid idea on pricing.
As previously mentioned, the current homeowner is likely looking to sell with as little difficulty as possible. If there are unique aspects to a home that make it a perfect place to buy, placing an offer that is straightforward and flexible is the best way to show interest. Placing an offer quickly can also allow for more time to communicate with the seller before they become swamped with other offers. When a home is too good to pass up, offering the asking amount can help to seal the deal. The highest bid isn’t always the one that gets chosen, sometimes it’s more important to be willing to work with the seller. An upfront, motivated buyer can be worth their weight in gold, so allow the seller to see just how flexible the bid and closing can be and it may be the key to winning the home.
Though finding a dream home can be daunting, taking these tips into account can really help to put the best foot forward for the seller to see. Have fun during the search and try to maintain positive throughout the decision process and things should workout more smoothly.