You are probably aware by now that the real estate market in many areas has picked up dramatically. In some areas houses are getting multiple bids and many homes are going for way higher than asking price. If you've been trying to find a home lately you might be experiencing some frustration by what's been happening. Here are some things to consider if you are having trouble either finding a home or getting homes that you've made offers on:
1. Are you positioning yourself so that your offer is getting taken seriously? Do you have a "pre-approval" letter from a lender that you have sent to the seller? Is your offer written in professional, readable format? Are you using an experienced agent who works mostly (if not only) with buyers?
2. Are you under-bidding on properties that are new to the market and have several interested buyers? If a listing is new and hot it's not going to sell for way under list price. Why, then are you trying to get a steal on it? You're probably spinning your wheels and wasting your time and your agent's time. Get serious or you will be left out.
3. Are you adding extraneous contingencies in your offer to the seller? Are you asking for everything under the sun in the offer? In a competitive market you can't expect for sellers to agree to things that other buyers aren't asking for. Keep your offer simple so it's attractive to the seller. Maybe even do some recon and find out what kind of terms the seller is looking for in the offer before you send it.
4. Do you have a home to sell? Unfortunately, this is a killer in a strong seller's market. If you are up against a buyer who does NOT have a home to sell you will likely loose in a bidding war. Even if your home is in contract (in escrow) you are at a disadvantage when competing with other buyers. Alternative? Sell your home first and then work on finding a new home.
5. Are you looking at homes that are out of your price range and then hoping that the seller "might" come down? That doesn't happen in a seller's market. What happens many times in a strong market is the house actually sells for more because several buyers get involved and it basically becomes an auction. If you expect to negotiate hard on the price of a home in a seller's market you will be thoroughly disappointed.
6. Are your search criteria too narrow? Do you want too much in a home for what you can afford? Consider expanding your search area and/or things like # of bedrooms, # of bathrooms, size, etc. Be realistic about what you "need" vs. what you "want." Maybe you can do with (1) less bedroom, or a home that is a bit smaller. Maybe there is another location that will work for you. In a tough buyer's market you will find that you will have to make compromises or you may not find a home that you are satisfied with, ever. Be flexible and open to other options.
|Be a Winner!|
7. Do you have a sense of urgency? Do you really want to buy a home, or are you just tire-kicking? If you've told your agent "Well, I'm not in a hurry to buy" or "I'll buy a home if I find the right one" or "I just want to see what's out there" you probably aren't motivated. If this is the way you feel maybe you should put your search on hold until you are serious about buying a home. In order to buy a home you must be ready, willing and able. Are you?