You’ve heard me saying that inventory levels are incredibly low but now I can actually relate it in terms many of you will understand better: inventory levels haven’t been this low since January 2005! What does that mean? It means we’re out of the buyers market and into a sellers market! Looking for some pointers on putting together an offer for today’s sellers? Read on.
1. If a property is listed for sale, go see it as soon as possible. The market has been unpredictable in speed and time of contracts on new listings. Some things go the day the come on the market, others wait til the weekend, while others continue to sit. If you like it, go see it.
2. If you like it, write an offer. Don’t wait. Being the first offer shows interest and strength of your offer. You can always make changes if you find out more offers have come in, but if you waited until the last minute to submit your offer, don’t you think the seller will be flattered someone else submitted right away, showing how much they want their house? Real estate is an emotional sale, sometimes emotion plays a bigger part than rational thinking.
3. Keep timelines tight. Find out what the seller is looking for regarding closing date, inspections, etc. Many sellers are “move up” or “downsizing” buyers who have to sell before they can buy, so having that information will help you construct your offer.
4. Drop the lowball offers. In the buyers market, many buyers were lowballing sellers with the thought that they can always increase their offer. These days, many sellers know that their home may be 1 or 2 of the options in a certain location and/or price range, so why would they entertain a low offer shortly after coming on the market? Testing the market is done by both buyers and sellers…so keep that in mind when you’re reviewing comparable sales.
5. Write a love letter. Going back to the emotional appeal, you never know what motivating factor a seller has for selling their home. Are they retiring? Do they have growing family? Are they leaving the state? See what information you can find out about the seller (often times a listing agent is authorized to disclose certain pieces of information that may help) and then write them a letter about why you want to buy their house. Are you expecting a child? Did you just get married? Are you moving closer to family? Moving from out of state (that just happens to be where they’re moving to)? Write it all down. You’d be surprised how many contracts have been won because the sellers liked this particular piece of information more than just the bottom line.