House prices are still low and mortgage rates are low, making our hot market even hotter. According to the National Association of Realtors, data pulled from January showed that houses sold in 71 days, down from 99 days a year ago. It’s very common to receive multiple offers on homes for sale right now. If you are a buyer, you need to be prepared for a lot of competition. Here’s how to do your homework to increase your chances of being the winning bidder and not left on the sidelines.
- Plan several months ahead of time before you need a home. It could take you a while to find the right house and then be the winning bidder, so prepare for that.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start searching. You could find the right property very quickly and you’ll need to act right away. Being pre-approved is very important because your lender can give you a letter stating that fact. You can then submit the letter along with your offer to the seller, making your offer stronger.
- Be realistic. Know your limits on what you can afford. Don’t waste your time looking at $400,000 houses if all you can afford is $350,000. There’s a lot less available inventory on the market and that leads to multiple bidders.
- Sellers like cash. The more cash you can put down on your purchase, the greater your chances for having your offer accepted. Think about it – if you were a seller, assuming everything was the same, would you go with the buyer putting 20% down or the buyer putting 5% down? Sellers think buyers who put down more cash are stronger, so use this to your advantage if you can.
- Limit your contingencies. If you need to sell a house first before you can buy, don’t make your new purchase contingent upon that. It’s very unappealing to sellers and makes them less likely to deal with you. Consider selling your house first and temporarily moving in with friends or family, which puts you in a very strong position to buy and increases your chances of getting an offer accepted.
- Consider the closing date. Why not ask the seller what day they want to close and if it works for you, just put that on the contract? A simple thing like that could tip the offer into your favor and get it accepted.
Buying a house in today’s market with limited inventory can be very stressful and frustrating. Follow these tips to help you be a step ahead of the game and to get into your dream home before someone else does!
Gabe Mellein was voted a Top Real Estate Agent – Exceptional in Service and Overall Satisfaction by Gulfshore Life Magazine in 2012 and 2013. He is the broker of Gulf Pointe Properties, Inc and has over 9 years experience in the SW Florida Real Estate Market. He is a member of The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Bonita Springs – Estero Association of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, The Florida Association of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors, and is nationally certified in Feng Shui for Real Estate. Need real estate help? Please contact Gabe at: 239.825.2234, Gabe@GulfPointeProperties.com or www.GulfPointeProperties.com