Housing inventory is at record lows across the US and here in the Charleston, SC area. When there are more buyers than homes available, it’s likely you’ll end up in a bidding war. To ensure your offer is the winner, follow these 7 strategies.
Choose a Realtor who is collaborative and professional
Unlike the drama that plays out on some real estate reality TV shows, Realtors with a collaborative vs. combative style of negotiation get more for their clients. It’s your Realtor’s job to remove the emotion and the stress while communicating on your behalf.
Pay with cash
This won’t be possible for everyone, but if you have the cash, make an all-cash offer. In a particularly hot market, cash will always win out. Sellers prefer buyers who pay cash because the deal will not be dependent on whether or not the buyer can secure financing.
Get preapproved for a mortgage
If paying all cash is not an option, you must get preapproved for a mortgage before making an offer. You’ll get a letter to submit with your offer that shows the seller how much money you qualify to borrow. Most sellers won’t consider an offer without a preapproval letter .
Study the market
Before you begin your search in earnest with the intent to make an offer, have your Realtor research the neighborhood. Know how many homes are available, their general condition, the price range and their appreciation (the percentage in value increase each year).
Submit the first and best offer
In a tight market, it pays to be aggressive. When you find a house you like, be the first to make an offer. Not only that, but make sure your offer is the best. If the seller has listed the home at an appropriate price, be prepared to offer it. Also, have your Realtor find out the seller’s preferred closing date. If you can accommodate it, include it in your offer.
Contingencies let a buyer out of a contract if certain issues aren’t addressed. Sometimes buyers want to include a contingency that the sale only goes through if their own house sells first, or if certain items are repaired. If you know a home is going to receive multiple offers, you must limit the number of contingencies if you hope to win a bidding war. Sellers will naturally choose offers with the fewest contingencies.
Do you really love the home? Can you imagine your kids enjoying that backyard tree house, or see your dog loving the enormous backyard? Then write a letter to the seller explaining your reasons for wanting the house. Appealing to a seller’s emotions can be incredibly persuasive, and you may be rewarded with the winning bid.
Susan Matthews is a Realtor serving the greater Charleston area with Coldwell Banker Carolinas. Contact her for more info on selling your home.