In this market of multiple offers and “quick moving” inventory, it’s important when you find the “right” home that you act quickly and correctly to get the homes of your dreams.
1. Prepare a written offer
Written offers are taken more seriously than verbal ones. In a carefully constructed offer, you can highlight the things that make you a strong buyer and convey concisely what you want. You can also highlight things that make you offer more appealing. For example, if you are a first-time home buyer and do not have a home to sell.
2. Get preapproved
You’ll need to get a mortgage so you will need a bank’s preapproval. It won’t guarantee that you’ll get a loan, but it will show sellers that a lender has verified your income and credit score and determined that you can afford payments on a mortgage for a certain amount. This will also help you understand the criteria you need to write your offer due to any programs or grants you may also be using. It will also let you know if the bank has any time perimeters.
3. Be competitive on price
You may only have one shot to get it right, so make your best offer — what you’re willing and able to pay. Base your offer on recent sale prices of comparable properties in the neighborhood. If you hold back, thinking you’ll sweeten the offer on the second try, you may lose the property to another buyer.
Also, understand that if the home has not been on the market for very long the seller may choose to wait for other offers if the home is not closer to asking price. Don’t be close-minded about the fact that if there are multiple offers on the table, one may have to write the offer for over the asking price if it is “the home” you really want.
4. Limit your contingencies
Most sellers prefer offers with no contingencies, but you probably can’t afford to forgo the protection that contingencies provide if you want to cancel the contract. Offset a financing contingency with preapproval and a strong earnest money deposit.
5. Pay for extras yourself
These might include some of the closing costs, homeowners association dues that must be prepaid, or a home warranty.
6. Be flexible on time
Express your willingness to work with the seller’s timetable to go to closing. If the seller needs to firm up things on the future plans that could make your offer look more appealing.
7. Write a letter to the sellers
Write a letter to the sellers detailing the reasons why you should be the new owner of the home. Selling a home can be very emotional and it can mean a lot for them to know you are going to enjoy the home as much as they have.