Whether you have been actively looking, browsing online, or just watching the market by way of the media, you have probably heard the housing market is heating up. Competition for the good houses has been heating up in Austin long before our summer temperatures got here. Prices are inching up while days on market is plummeting. Multiple offer scenarios are becoming the norm rather than the exception. So, buyers beware…it can get a little chippy out there!
Buying a house can be stressful at times but, there are things you can do to help to the process run more smoothly.
Here are 5 Top Strategies to WIN a bidding war:
1) Your Money Matters– Sellers need to know you have the financing in order close in a timely manner. Organize your finances in advance of shopping for a home. If you are using a loan to purchase, make a connection with your lender and provide the necessary paper trail to obtain a “Pre-Approval” letter. This tells the seller that you have provided the lender with documentation to support the details on your loan application. If you are a cash buyer, be prepared to have proof of funds and proof of liquidity of funds.
2) Assemble you Dream Team– Scout general home inspectors and find one that you trust who can perform an inspection within 5-7 days of your request. (i.e. if you know he will be on vacation for 2 weeks, find a back-up) Research other possible secondary inspectors that you may need: termite, septic, radon, mold, etc. This will allow you to offer a shorter option period and be comfortable about that timeline. Remember, the seller will take the house off the market while you are doing your inspections. Shorter time frames are attractive to sellers.
3) Dot your i’s and cross your t’s– Present a clean and completed offer. Have the blanks filled in with minimal caveats to the deal. Clear offers are much easier for an agent to present and much easier for the seller to agree to.
4) Understand the timeline– Time is of the essence in a multiple offer. Practice going through an offer scenario with your agent. If you know what details need to be decided on in order to present an offer, then you (and your spouse) can talk about the possible scenarios before you run into a multiple offer situation. Once you are ready to pull the trigger, then it becomes a matter of filling in the blanks rather than contemplating all the possible timelines and details.
5) Be on your Best Behavior– This is last but certainly not least. Please be courteous, especially if you have the opportunity to meet the listing agent (at say, an open house). Nice buyers make for smooth transactions. Buying a house is a big deal. Emotions can run high. Agents know that courteous buyers will not nit pick about everything little detail. If you are good with words or if you have a story to tell, writing a personal letter to the seller can also make for a favorable impression.
I hope this helps! If you have a strategy that has worked well for you, please share it!