Buying a home can be challenging in a seller’s market. Home values are up and you may be bidding against other buyers for the property you love. When you’ve found a house you like, here are some tips to help get your offer accepted.
Hire a Real Estate Agent to Get Your Offer Accepted
When properties are selling quickly, it’s best to have an experienced agent on your side. Your real estate agent will look for houses that meet your needs and share properties as they come on the market. An agent has the knowledge and experience to draw up a solid contract and will recommend ways to make your offer stand out.
Be Prepared to Pay More in Earnest Money
When you’ve found a home, earnest money shows the seller that you are serious about the sale. You pay money to hold the house while you secure your mortgage loan and have a home inspection. If the sale doesn’t go through, the seller keeps the earnest money.
The average amount of earnest money offered depends on the local real estate market. In some areas, $5,000 might be a standard payment. In other places, earnest money might be 1% – 3% of the purchase price. Talk to your real estate agent about the local market, and to show the seller you’re serious, increase your earnest money payment.
Pay Cash to Get Your Offer Accepted
Not many are able to purchase a home with cash but, if you are, a cash offer will certainly get the attention of the seller. If the homeowner knows they won’t have to wait for financing, you’ll have an advantage over buyers who don’t have the money in hand. To make a cash offer, you usually have to show proof of the funds, but it’s a great way to stand out to the seller.
Make an Early Offer
If a seller is in a hurry to close the deal, an early offer will get you noticed. Don’t hesitate to have your agent write an offer for a home you love. A good early offer will appeal to a seller who doesn’t have time to wait and consider multiple offers on the property.
When purchasing a home, it’s standard to include contingencies to protect yourself as the buyer. Commonly included contingencies allow you out of the contract if you can’t secure the mortgage loan or if the home inspection reveals major issues. There are appraisal contingencies so that the buyer can walk away if the home doesn’t appraise for the asking price. You might also include a contingency that your current home sells before you close on the new one.
To get your offer accepted, leave contingency clauses out of your contract. If you don’t own a home, this is a benefit, as you don’t have to wait for your property to sell before moving forward. In a seller’s market, the home may not appraise for the asking price, so you can forego this clause. Talk to your bank and get pre-approved for the home loan. Don’t skip the home inspection, but look into other contingencies you can leave out of your offer contract.