There’s no denying it, my friend. We’ve been in a seller’s market for months now—and there’s no sign it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
This is great news for sellers! It means they get to earn top dollar on their homes in this market. But if you’re trying to buy a house right now, it means you’re facing some pretty serious competition from other house hunters. I don’t mean for that to sound discouraging in any way. It’s just the way the market is in early 2021.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t get your dream house. You just need make your offer as attractive as possible to the seller!
So how do you do that?
1. Make your offer irresistible by proving you can afford to buy the home.
If there’s one thing a seller is looking for, it’s a reliable buyer who’s financially stable. The last thing the seller wants is for the contract to fall through.
To alleviate that fear, make sure you show that you can afford the home. Start by getting a pre-approved loan with a reputable lender. Showing the seller your approval letter tells them that you’re not simply browsing—you’re serious about purchasing.
If you’re buying the house in cash, then provide records showing that you actually have that cash! This step may sound simple to you, but it will provide a lot security to the seller to know you can afford their home.
Not sure if you’re actually ready to buy yet? Check out these 5 simple tips to help you buy a dream house without any buyer’s remorse.
2. Put down an earnest money deposit.
An earnest money deposit of 1-3% of the selling price is a way to say you’re serious about purchasing. To go along with my point above, this deposit (also known as a good faith deposit) shows you can afford the house.
But also, by putting down that money, you’re protecting the buyer. After all, when the seller enters a contract with you, they take their house off the market during the closing process. If, for some reason, you have to back out of the deal, they’re left in a lurch and have to put their house back on the market and find a new buyer. They lose precious time and money as a result.
On the flipside, if the deal goes through smoothly, then your deposit goes toward your down payment or closing costs. Everyone wins!
Let me offer one word of caution, though. To protect your earnest deposit, make sure to use an escrow account. You don’t want to give the seller the deposit directly only to watch him run off with it and abandon the contract. Yes, the real estate market has scammers, too!
3. Make a serious offer.
A seller’s market is not the time to test the homeowner with a lowball offer. Make your first offer irresistible by getting as close to asking price as possible or above.
Remember that in our current housing market (especially in San Diego), there are lots of buyers and few available homes. That equals major competition. After all, with mortgage rates at an appealing low right now, buyers are eager to purchase their next home as quickly as they can.
As a result, you’ll need to offer a competitive price if you want your offer to be taken seriously. Many people are making offers above asking price, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to do the same. Talk with your realtor to come up with an attractive offer. Don’t have a realtor yet? Hire us and we’ll be happy to help you close on your dream house!
4. Choose a closing date that fits the seller’s needs.
Some buyers need time to find a new place while others need to move out as soon as they can. Try to find out what closing date works best for your seller and, if possible, settle on a date that accommodates their needs.
Of course, if you’re desperate to move in sooner, then you need to make that clear. But still try to work with the seller to choose a closing date that’s mutually beneficial.
5. Add a personal touch to make your offer even more irresistible.
Many sellers are emotionally attached to their house—especially if they’ve lived there a long time. Their home is where they created fond memories. It’s where they worked, played, ate, and slept. It’s where they spent time with loved ones. So it’s no surprise that they want to make sure their precious home goes to good hands.
Think about this when you make your offer. Try to include a personal note about how your family will use, love, and take care of the home. Paint a beautiful picture of what that home will mean to you and your family. (Just make sure it’s honest, of course! Manipulation is never a good real-estate strategy.)
Bonus Tip: Pray I’ve seen some incredible things happen as a result of prayer. If you’re a person of faith, then make sure you include in your prayers the offer you’re about to make. After all, your life, and every detail surrounding it, matters!