September 24th, 2014 7:33 AM by Jackie A. Graves
In a sellers’ market, competition can
turn fierce. Standing out becomes a challenge.
In these tight markets, smart strategies can make a big difference.
Money helps, of course, but so does some creative and heartfelt
communication—and having the right professional in your corner.
Follow these six tips, and you’re going to find success is just around
the corner … along with your new house.
1. A good agent
An assertive, experienced
REALTOR® will know the market well and will move quickly to
present an offer to the seller.
They’ll be able to guide you through options that may seem a little
crazy in a slower market—but could prove the difference between success and
more house-hunting in a tight one.
2. An earnest deposit
A substantial deposit makes
a big difference.
A reasonable deposit will be about 3% of the value of the property.
A seller usually takes such an offer seriously and will feel confident you are
committed to stand by this offer.
This could give your offer a winning edge. Submitting a pre-approval letter
with the deposit puts your bid ahead of the others by showing the seller
you have serious intentions.
3. Money talks
Of course, the more cash you can offer up-front can make a difference.
If you can afford a 30% or 40% down payment (or more), that may tempt
sellers. And, in the long run, it will save you money on a mortgage,
shortening the length of your loan and the interest you pay.
Few homeowners are likely to dismiss an all-cash sale. But
let’s be honest—that’s a lot of dough that most people don’t have access to.
4. Get personal
Appeal to the seller’s emotions: include a personal
letter in the offer to the person selling the property.
Explain why you want to buy the house and what you particularly like
about it. Be as specific as possible. Appeal to what you may know of the property history.
Perhaps it’s a historic house the
sellers lovingly restored, and you plan to keep it that way—tell
them. Maybe you’re looking forward to raising your children in the
Other offers will appear impersonal in comparison.
5. Speed things up
Offer to close quickly. Most sellers want to make a speedy
transaction—they’ll like this.
A standard closing period is about 30 days. If you can close
in three weeks instead, this could convince the seller to accept your bid—even
over one that offers more money.
Another winning negotiation strategy is to waive some of the contingencies usually
included in a standard contract. For example, a winning offer can be one which
agrees to shorten the period the buyer has to inspect a property for lead paint
Before you agree to waive any contingencies, however, you should check
with your attorney.
6. Be nice
The sellers want a few more days in the house. Consider giving that
to them rent-free.
There’s a few things ideally you’d like them to fix—but if they aren’t
deal-breakers, consider letting that go.
Be friendly and personable, because if you prove to be someone they
don’t mind dealing with, that could tip things in your favor, too.
Confirm Your Commitment
Ultimately, the question is this: how much do you want a new home?
In a sellers’ market, you’re probably going to have to give more,
in many ways.
But hopefully your perseverance will pay off—for your family, and your
By: Anne Miller | Updated from an earlier version by Wendy
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