If you're reading this, you probably have read/heard/saw/thought about how drastically different this market is. You have probably heard it ad nauseam from us alone. It is a sellers market, make no bones about it. But if you are thinking of buying, what about the little guy? How do you make YOUR offer stand out?
Back in the 90s a college professor told his students to send resumes on hot pink paper. You know what happened? So many people started sending their resumes on neon clad letterhead that the effect was lost. They were just trying to stand out. Here, standing out can be done with a little pre planning, a great agent (wink wink) and some of these great tips!
Talk with your agent to have your professionals lined up. As a listing agent, there is NOTHING better than getting a well prepared offer accompanied by a note saying "Here is the attorney we will use and also this title company." That tells me the agent knows what they're doing and is ready to get this over the finish line. Don't have a great real estate attorney? We recommend Garrick Slavick in Toms River, and you can find him here.
Take your prequalification to the next level. You are prequalified...just like eeeeeveryone else you are competing with. Take a few minutes, and talk to your lender. Make sure they are clearly communicating in their prequal letter that they have looked through your credit, they have verified your income, and see if you can have your loan go through underwriting with an assumption of taxes/clear title etc. This tells the seller, "I am not here to play games, I am here to live in your home." Also, get your lender to shorten the closing time window but ONLY use a quick close will benefit the seller. If you are buying a fixer upper from someone who you can tell needs time to get things moved, don't be forceful. Read the room, but remember having your lender cross your t's and dot your i's now can be the difference between submitting an offer, and getting the house.
Keep your inspections brief. This is a sellers market. Sellers are calling the shots. While I never advocate to waive your rights to inspections, if you are buying a fixer upper and you are a contractor, agreeing to take the home as-is and waiving your home inspections can quite possibly be the biggest ace up your sleeve. When Nikki and I bought our home, we clearly told the sellers we would do an oil tank sweep, but we were waiving our right to any and all home inspections. The outcome? We got a sweet deal, and you can too! If you are inspecting, have all your inspectors lined up and chosen already, and communicate with the seller that you are ready to schedule inspections quickly. Also communicate with the seller that you have no desire to play games with any functional component that is "beyond it's useful life" but still working. 20 year old roof but not leaking? Don't make an issue. 15 year old water heater clean and working? Don't make an issue. Let them know you aren't playing games.
Cash rules...for deposits too. One thing we are running in to is appraisals haven't caught up to rising home sales. If you have access to cash, let the sellers know that should you run into an appraisal issue, you will entertain bridging the gap with cash. Ever play poker? Ace-King...looks good, never wins. Same holds true to a high figure on an offer where the buyer is putting down 3.5% on an FHA loan. An experienced listing agent will know that should an appraisal issue arise, this set of buyers can not bridge the gap, and the deal is dead. If you can, and love the house, don't be afraid to tell them by offering to put cash in.
That's it for this week, we hope you're enjoying this most unusual summer, and if you are in the market to buy or sell, ask us a question, any time!