If you’re thinking of buying a home right now, you know very well that the number of houses available is limited. As a buyer, low housing supply coupled with high buyer demand means you should be prepared to navigate a highly competitive market where homes sell fast and receive multiple offers.
In a bidding war situation, doing everything you can do to get ahead of the competition is your best move. That’s because when you find a house and submit an offer, it will likely be up against other strong offers from other buyers.
According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are receiving an average of 3.9 offers nationally. That’s the most offers we’ve seen in January for the last 5 years (see graph below):
Over the last few weeks, homes on Cape Cod have been receiving more than the national average of offers. In the last few days, one Sandwich home received 10 offers and sold for significantly above asking price. Anyone waiting for the Open House was out of luck. They were cancelled.
To help you navigate bidding wars with multiple offers, working with a real estate professional is important. They know what has worked for other buyers and what sellers are looking for. They can help you prepare when it comes time to making an offer. Here are three tips to keep in mind that will help you make the best offer possible.
1. Know Your Numbers
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. Pre-approval shows sellers you’re serious, which can give you a competitive edge. As a practical matter, an offer that is not accompanied by a pre-approval letter receives scant attention, if any at all. Offers that are all cash need to provide proof of funds.
You should also realize that making an offer at the home’s asking price probably won’t be enough. In just about every situation, asking price is now the starting point for negotiations. So, submitting a low ball offer to “see what happens” is a waste of time. (Unless the house needs to be totally gutted. But, even then…)
2. Be Ready To Move Fast
Speed and the pace of sales are contributing to today’s competitive housing market. When homes are selling quickly, it’s important to stay on top of the market and be ready to move. Stay up to date on the latest listings and if you find the home you want to buy, submit your best offer as soon as possible.
3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer
When you’re up against others, presenting your best offer from the start is key. Submit a strong offer and use whatever leverage you can to make it as enticing as possible. One option is to wave some of your contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Just remember there are certain contingencies you may not want to give up, like the home inspection. But, there are ways to make a home inspection enticing.
Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to answer your questions.
It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.
Have a good week…
Mari and Hank