multiple offers

Losing in Multiple Offers? Here’s How to Win.

April 12, 2016 | Buying a Home | By: Allison

Many properties in this hot market are selling within a matter of days of going on the market. Often, this means buyers are competing for properties. If you have been dreaming of winning multiple offers, this post is for you.  This market is so hot, that just last week, The Goodhart Group sold seven properties! One of our listings went on the market Thursday and had three offers by Saturday evening (and ending up selling for $16,500 over the list price). As always, buyers are looking for properties offering excellent value — homes in move-in condition offered at a fair price. Listings in popular neighborhoods and desirable locations (near Metro and walkable to shopping and dining), especially in DC, North Arlington, Old Town & Del Ray are selling especially quickly. So, if you are thinking of selling your home in the coming months, consider moving up your timeframe if at all possible. Inventory is quite low in the metropolitan DC area. This may be due in part to the upcoming election and the uncertainty surrounding it. From basic economics, we know that low supply creates high demand and in turn, higher prices. As a result, potential buyers are jumping on new listings and we are seeing multiple offers on many listings.

Trying to buy in this market?  Here are some proven tips for winning in multiple offers.

  • Make sure your finances are in order. Have your loan pre-approval and all other required financial documentation in place. Extra bonus points for a local lender – especially if it is one the listing agent knows is doing a good job.  They have a vested interest in getting the job done well, plus they are in the same time zone…  you don’t know how many times different time zones can cause issues for lenders! If you need advice on which local lenders are top notch, just reach out at any time. Need help starting the conversation with a lender? We’ve got you covered.
  • Do not make your offer contingent on the sale of your current home (assuming you can potentially cover two the mortgage payments for the short term).  If you do need to sell before buying, contact us to discuss several options for making this happen. It is almost impossible to win in multiple offers if your offer is contingent on selling your home.
  • Be flexible on your settlement date; make it convenient for the sellers. Again, bonus points for using a trusted settlement company that the sellers agent has worked with before.
  • Consider an “information only” home inspection, or even not making your offer contingent on the outcome of the home inspection. This is an area where you will need to be especially careful and discuss all options in detail with your Realtor before doing so. Similarly, consider higher downpayment options or minimizing/eliminating financial contingencies if you are lucky enough to be in a position to do so. Again, contact us for creative ways to minimize contingencies while making sure you are absolutely protected in the contract. There are some tricks of the trade!
  • Increase your earnest money deposit.
  • Don’t make the seller pay for the pest inspection or a home warranty.  Pro tip: It is usually better in any situation to pay for the pest inspection as it means that you get to pick the inspector. If the other party picks the inspector, you have less control.  No matter who picks and pays for the inspector, the seller is required to make any recommended repairs noted.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of putting a deadline on your offer with your Realtor. Sometimes it makes sense, other times it can just annoy the seller!
  • Same thing goes with including a personal offer letter about yourself and your family.  Typically, these are not considered and won’t help or hurt your cause. We have had instances where it has helped clients get the property, but other instances where the sellers were turned off by it. It really depends on the type of seller and their motivation.
  • Lastly, money talks!  As much as these other terms can help set you over the edge, it really is all about the Benjamins, baby. If the seller asks for a rent back, consider giving them a free rent back to sweeten the pot. Carefully analyze the comps with your Realtor to see how high you can go while still feeling comfortable that if you win,  you will be happy and not stressed about feeling house poor.  If you are in a competitive market, try  not to look at the very top of your price range as likely, the houses you like might escalate over the list price.

Of course, each property and contract negotiation is different, so we create customized plans for each of our clients to make sure they are comfortable, informed, and in the best position for winning multiple offers with the necessary protections. As always, The Goodhart Group is ready to help you with any and all of your real estate needs.

Contact us today if we can help guide you through the process whenever you are ready to buy or sell. If you’re a first time buyer, be sure to download our First Time Buyers Guide here.

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