These happy clients just won a multiple offer scenario in West Seattle! But boy it is a challenging market out there for buyers right now. I’m sure you’ve heard stories of friends or colleagues needing to write 5, 6 or even 7 different offers on condos or houses and spending a couple thousand dollars on inspections for homes they didn’t get before they FINALLY got their place. There is no end in sight for this as Seattle continues to grow in population, and new construction for homes and condos is very limited to handle this growth. So for our buyers we really talk about strategy and being realistic in this market in order to find a great home and being successful and winning in this hyper competitive market. Here are my top 5 recommendations that we have used successfully this year. We don’t win them all, by any means, but these things have worked well for us and our buyers to eventually get our buyers in the house or condo they love.
- Look at properties that are well below the maximum you can spend
- Be realistic on what you will find and what you need to pay for it and be aggressive
- Be prepared to do all of your inspections and due diligence in a hurry and in advance of your offer
- Both the buyer’s agent and the buyers should try to build rapport with the listing broker, and the sellers, if possible
- Submit an offer that is free of contingencies, and works for the sellers specific situation and needs
More details on my top 5 recos:
- Look at properties that are well below your maximum you can spend: Looking at homes that are right at your max purchase price do not leave you room to escalate up in a completing offer situation. Look 10-20% below what your max is.
- Be realistic and aggressive: Prices seem crazy, and it’s likely the price you will end up paying “doesn’t make sense” when you look at the numbers. But if you want a home, be realistic on what things you must have in a house vs what things are just a bonus, and then be ready to pay a very aggressive price. And remember, market value is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for the property so if you and several other competing buyers are willing to pay a certain price, that is the market value.
- Be prepared to do all of your inspections and due diligence in a hurry and in advance: Sellers are looking for offers with minimal buyer contingencies (ways out of the deal). This means buyers should have budgeted for the additional costs of doing home inspections, sewer scopes, oil tank locates, and for condos get that resale certificate from the seller in advance and review it. Then submit your offers without these contingencies to make your offer more attractive and your earnest money firm.
- Get to know the listing broker, and the sellers, if possible: When you sell a condo or house you do want to “know” who is buying it. And sometimes it helps if two offers are fairly identical, that if the sellers like you, like your agent’s professionalism, your story, and know you will take care of their home. Just that one meet and greet at an open house could make all the difference. The buyer’s agent has to be organized, convincing, and connected (don’t worry, we have that part covered!).
- Submit an offer that is free of contingencies with terms that work for the sellers: The overall strength of an offer is a combination of the final price, as well as how likely the deal is to close. If there are 6 ways to Sunday for the buyer to think about things, back out, and renegotiate terms with the seller, that offer will not fly. So thing like an inspection contingency or a home sale contingency are likely the weakest terms you can put in an offer. Additionally more buyers are now taking a huge risk and removing financing and appraisal contingencies just to get the deal. Also be mindful of the seller’s situation. Do they still need to find and offer on a house too in this crazy market?? Then maybe offer them 1-2 month extra time in their house before you’ll take possession and move in.
In summary, be realistic, be aggressive, and don’t ask for a detailed market analysis that justifies’ the price you need to pay. If you are too analytical and conservative, you might want to buy in a buyer’s market.
Now go find that house or condo and win that home!