So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and purchase a home of your own. Congratulations! But first, we want to make sure you understand that the market here in Colorado Springs is TIGHT. Inventory is moving fast and buyers are putting in multiple offers. Because of this, you will want to ensure that your offer is airtight and stands out from the others. How do you achieve this? See our five tips below on setting your bid apart and helping you to (hopefully!) be the winning offer.
- Have your dream team compiled. This means having a Realtor that you trust and is knowledgeable and savvy enough to know how to play the game to your benefit. If this were an athletic competition, you wouldn’t settle for the “easy coach” that lets you do whatever you want. No, you would want someone who pushes you and helps you reach new horizons. Think of your Realtor as being in the same category. They should be helpful and informative with you while also putting their best foot forward in the home buying process and negotiations.
- Have a verified pre-approval letter for your financing. This shows that you are serious, and you came to play the game. Additionally, it gives the seller some certainty and confidence in your offer on the house. To truly set your pre-approval letter and offer apart, consider including a cover letter outlining the details of the financials and the contract you are putting forward. Again, this speaks to your commitment to pursuing this potential contract. Additionally, consider working with a LOCAL lender rather than an out-of-state lender or an internet lender. Local lenders know our market and what is expected of them to get the loan approved in a timely manner. Out-of-state lenders or internet lenders may not be familiar with our local home buying process and often take more time to get the loan process completed. One last step you could consider is having your lender call the listing agent directly to confirm that you have been fully underwritten and alleviate any fears that financial issues could arise in the process. The pre-approval letter is a must, but sometimes it also helps the seller’s agent hear it straight from the lender.
- Follow up with the listing agent. If you find THE house you have been waiting for, or the one that simply meets your criteria, express your sincere interest by having your real estate agent call the listing agent immediately after your initial viewing. They can ask about any additional needs or factors on behalf of the sellers and what they are looking for so you can tailor your offer to fit them best (and hopefully put you in first place among all the others!). Some examples might include a post-occupancy agreement, flexibility on the closing date, or negotiations around the appraisal and inspection. Have your Realtor work to get ALL of the details upfront, which could assist in having a smooth home purchasing process.
- Come to the table with “serious cash.” Consider increasing the amount of earnest money you are willing to put down; or you might consider making up the difference in the listing price and the price you are offering, especially if you are going to be using a loan to purchase the home. The seller’s agent may view increasing the earnest money amount as an act of good faith and a reflection of your commitment to making this contract work. Ideally, this will boost their confidence in you and the seriousness of your offer. Making up the difference between the listing price and offer price is called an appraisal gap. Ideally, if you can cover the entire monetary amount of the “gap”, your offer will be able to contend with a cash offer. This “gap money” is in addition to your down payment.
- Don’t get discouraged! If your first or second offer on a home doesn’t get accepted, don’t throw in the towel! Ask your agent to call the listing agent and find out how close your offer was to the highest bid and any other information that will help you with your next offer on a home. The inventory of homes is very tight right now. When a new listing shows up on your search that looks promising, contact your agent right away to let the agent know you are interested in seeing the home. Try to be flexible for seeing the home as there are so many buyers looking right now and time slots for seeing a home go fast. Working together with your Realtor will help achieve success. Listen to your Realtor’s guidance on structuring your offer.
If you are thinking about buying a home or making the emotional move of selling yours, Barbara Harris and Harris Group Realty are here to answer all of your questions and concerns. You can rest assured that Barbara knows exactly what she is doing to help you set your offer apart from the others. Call us today at 719-227-9900 or click here to email Barbara.