Tag Archives: #marisennottpluss

Five Tips for Making Your Best Offer for a Home

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 msennott@todayrealestate.com.

You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.

Stay warm….

Mari and Hank

Listing Prices Are Like an Auction’s Reserve Price

For generations, the process of buying and selling a home has never really changed.

A homeowner and their real estate professional would estimate the market value of the house, then tack on a little extra for some negotiating room. That figure would become the listing price. 

Buyers would then try to determine how much less than the full price they could offer and still get the home.

As a result, the listing price was generally the ceiling of the negotiation. The actual sales price would almost always be somewhat lower than what was listed. It was unthinkable to pay more than what the seller was asking.

Today is different.

The record-low supply of homes for sale coupled with very strong buyer demand is leading to a rise in bidding wars on many homes. Because of this, homes today are selling for more than the list price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR): “For every listing there are 5.1 offers. Half of the homes (nationally) are being sold for above list price.”

You may need to change the way you look at the asking price of a home.

In this market, you likely can’t shop for a home with the former approach of negotiating to a lower price.

Due to the low supply, many homes are now being offered in an auction-like atmosphere in which the highest bidder wins the home. In an actual auction, the seller of an item agrees to take the highest bid, and many sellers set a reserve price on the item they’re selling. A reserve price is the minimum amount a seller will accept as the winning bid.

When navigating a competitive housing market, think of the list price of the house as the reserve price at an auction. It’s the minimum the seller will accept in many cases.

So, if you really love a home, know that it may ultimately sell for more than the sellers are asking.

We have found that in working with buyers that there is an education process to this new way of thinking. Just last week, a new buyer was honestly shocked that their offer of $5,000 over asking price was the lowest of five bids. Their offer for the next home that they bid on was much more in line with the new pricing reality. We’re still waiting to hear if they were successful, but these buyers learned quickly. Sometimes others lose out on a few homes before they adjust.

Remember: someone like good old Uncle Harry who “knows a little something about real estate” may be telling you that it’s foolish to offer more for a home than the listing price. But, he’s more familiar with the housing market of the past than that of today

Frequent and competitive bidding wars are creating an auction-like atmosphere in many real estate transactions right now. Let’s connect today at 508-568-8191or msennott@todayrealestate.com so we can provide you with the best advice on how to make a competitive offer on a home.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank