5 Tips for Making a Successful Offer

Today’s real estate market clearly has high home buyer interest and low housing inventory. With so many buyers competing for a limited number of houses for sale, it’s more important than ever to know the ins and outs of making a confident and competitive offer. Here are five keys to success for this important stage in the home buying process.

1. Listen to Your Real Estate Advisor

An article from Freddie Mac offers guidance on making an offer on a home today. Right off the bat, it points out how emotional this can be for buyers and why your trusted agent can help you stay focused on the most important things:

“Remember to let your home buying team guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must-haves and future financial stability.”

Your real estate professional should be your primary source for answers to the questions you have when you’re ready to make an offer.

2. Understand Your Finances

Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. The best way to know this is to get pre-approved for a loan early in the home buying process. Only 44% of today’s prospective home buyers are planning to apply for pre-approval, so be sure to take this step so you stand out from the crowd. It shows sellers you’re a serious and qualified buyer and can give you a competitive edge if you enter a bidding war.

3. Be Ready to Move Quickly

According to the Realtors Confidence Index, published monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property sale today receives over three offers and is on the market for just a few weeks. These are both results of today’s competitive market, showing how important it is to stay agile and vigilant in your search. As soon as you find the right home for your needs, be prepared to submit an offer as quickly as possible.

4. Make a Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, Freddie Mac also warns that submitting an offer that’s too low can lead sellers to doubt how serious you are as a buyer. Don’t submit an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received. The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive:

“Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home and recent home sale prices in the area.”

5. Be a Flexible Negotiator

After submitting an offer, the seller may accept it, reject it, or counter it with their own changes. In a competitive market, it’s important to stay nimble throughout the negotiation process. You can strengthen your position with an offer that includes flexible move-in dates, a higher price, or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Freddie Mac explains that there are, however, certain contingencies you don’t want to forego:

Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is’, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”

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BOTTOM LINE

Today’s competitive landscape makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Connect with one of our local experts to make sure you rise to the top along the way. We’ve been guiding home buyers and sellers since 1961.

Source: “Things to Consider When Buying a Home” Spring 2021 Edition, courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Why Low Inventory is a Win for Sellers

Real estate continues to be called the ‘bright spot’ in the current economy, but there’s one thing that may hold the housing market back from achieving its full potential this year: the lack of homes for sale.

Buyers are actively searching for and purchasing homes, looking to capitalize on today’s historically low interest rates, but there just aren’t enough houses for sale to meet that growing need. Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist & Director of Forecasting for the National Association of Realtors(NAR), explains:

“These ultra-low mortgage rates make homebuying more attractive, boosting activity to the highest level since 2006…Nevertheless, inventory continues to fall, widening the gap between housing demand and supply.”

According to NAR, right now unsold inventory sits at a 2.5-month supply at the current sales pace. To have a balanced market where there are enough homes for sale to meet buyer demand, the market needs 6 months of inventory. Today, we’re nowhere near that number. If this trend continues, it will get even harder to find homes to purchase, and that may slow down potential buyers. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, notes:

“While some buyers are frustrated, there are still plenty trying to make a move. This means that homes are still selling fast, and inventory is dropping despite an improving new listings trend.”

The Weekly Recovery Report from realtor.com keeps an eye on the number of listings coming into the market (houses available for sale) and the total number of listings staying in the market compared to the previous year (See graph below):

The number of total listings (the orange line) continues to decline even as new listings (the blue line) are coming to the market. Why? Buyers are scooping up homes faster than they’re being put up for sale. Hale emphasized:

“New listings are a necessary ingredient for further home sales, so additional improvement here will be important for home buyers and sustaining home sales activity.”

Does This Mean It’s a Good Time to Sell?

Yes. If you’re thinking about selling your house, this winter is a great time to make it happen. There are plenty of buyers looking for homes to purchase because they want to take advantage of low interest rates. Realtors are also reporting an average of 3.4 offers per house and an increase in bidding wars, meaning the demand is there and now is the opportune time to sell for the most favorable terms.

BOTTOM LINE

If you’re considering selling your house, this is the perfect time to discuss how you can benefit from the market trends in our local area. Connect with one of our local experts today.

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Source: “Things to Consider When Selling Your House” Winter 2021 edition, courtesy of Keeping Current Matters