As 2021 ended, there seemed be a subtle shift in the Cape Cod real estate market. While many properties still received multiple offers, there weren’t as many as earlier in the year.
And while most successful offers were for above asking price, the final figures were not as head scratching as they were in the summer.
As a buyer in a sellers’ market, it can feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. How far over asking price should your offer be? How willing are you to get involved in a bidding war, even when the competition isn’t as challenging?
When you’re ready to make an offer on a home, remember these five easy tips to help you rise above the competition.
1. Know Your Budget
Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a reputable lender so you can be pre-approved for a loan. As Freddie Mac puts it: “This pre-approval allow you to look for a home with greater confidence and demonstrates to the seller that you’re a serious buyer.”
As a practical matter, offers without pre-approval letters have little chance of being accepted. We work with several reputable lenders who serve the Cape Cod market and will pass on their contact information. Please reach out if you’re interested.
2. Be Ready To Move Fast
Homes are selling quickly in today’s competitive housing market. According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR): “Eighty-three percent of homes sold in November 2021 were on the market for less than a month.”
With houses selling this fast, staying on top of the market and moving quickly are key. Know what you’re looking for in a home and be ready to act when you see it.
3. Lean on a Local Real Estate Professional
No matter what the housing market looks like, rely on a trusted real estate advisor. As Freddie Mac advises: “Be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who can help you make informed decisions and avoid any pitfalls.”
Real estate markets are different from area to area. Your uncle’s best friend’s godson who just got his license and works in western Massachusetts is probably not the best choice to help you buy (or sell) property on Cape Cod.
Cape-based based professionals have insight into what’s worked for other buyers here and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller needs can help your offer stand out.
4. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer
According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from NAR, 40% of offers today are above the list price. Submitting a strong, yet fair offer is critical in these situations. If you are really interested in a property, a low ball offer to “see what happens” is not a strategy for success.
Not all that long ago asking price was the most a seller could hope for. Now, it’s the minimum they expect.
5. Be a Flexible Negotiator
When putting together an offer, consider what options you have to make your proposal the most attractive. Can you be flexible with the closing date? Are you willing to let the seller leave behind furniture, even if you have no use for it?
Of course, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to give up. Freddie Mac advises resisting the temptation to waive the home inspection as you could move into a house and discover repairs that you can’t afford.
If you’re thinking 2022 is the year to make your move, we’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or email@example.com.
You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.
Mari and Hank