Many real estate markets across the country are in the midst of a seller’s market. Westfield is no exception. Recently, Ryan Hartman with Inside Real Estate interviewed RE/MAX Select’s very own Rob Lyszczarz about how to get your home offer accepted in a crowded seller’s market.
How to Get Your Home Offer Accepted
Understand Your Market
Many people are leaving the City to settle in the suburbs like Westfield. (We did make the Top 10 List of Best Suburbs to Live in NJ.) Historically low interest rates helped spur buyer demand. Unfortunately, the supply of available housing cannot keep up with demand. In turn, that means multiple offers for many homes. Thus, we are deeply entrenched in a seller’s market. If you want your home offer accepted, you need to understand how your local market currently operates.
Get Specific With Your Wants
Every buyer envisions exactly what their dream home should look like. But, throw out your laundry list of “wants”. Narrow that down to three to five “must-haves”. Think about the size (square footage as well as the number of beds/baths), location, school district (if you have kids), etc. If you know what you absolutely cannot live without ahead of time, it will save you time, hassle, and heartbreak in the long run. Also, be willing to compromise on some things in order to make your homeownership dream a reality.
Always, always get pre-approved as soon as possible. This lowers your stress as well as increases your offer’s attractiveness to the seller. In fact, Rob suggests that you get two pre-approval letters instead of just one. Why? When putting less money down, sellers may believe you are less qualified. Two letters show the seller that they should take your home offer seriously. That means obtaining pre-approval from your lender for a conventional as well as FHA loan for example.
Create a Negotiation Strategy
Discuss negotiation strategy with your REALTOR®. Make sure you present a realistic home offer to the seller. Everyone likes to get a deal. But, if you lowball the seller, you could very well lose out in a multi-bidder situation.
Restrict Conditions & Contingencies
Tighten up time frames for things like inspections and financing. Sellers want to sell their homes as quickly as possible. So, the easier you make it, the more attractive your home offer looks. Waive contingencies whenever possible. Otherwise, limit them to the bare minimum (inspection, appraisal, financing). Think about increasing your earnest money deposit. Be flexible with the closing date. Defer to the seller’s timeframe.
Hire the Right Agent
Finally, having the right agent on your side makes all the difference in your outcome. Find someone with experience in the market. They must have good negotiation skills. Make sure they are willing to reach out to the seller’s agent to gather intel that will help boost your offer to the top of the pile. You also want someone who advocates for you. Make sure that they will communicate with you as much as you want in the way you want.
I highly recommend that you take an hour out of your day to listen to what Rob has to say. It can only help you when you go to look for a new Westfield home. Then, contact me to start your search.