Buying a home can feel like a roller coaster ride filled with emotional highs and lows. One of the lows that buyers dread the most is finally finding the perfect dream home only to get caught up in a nasty bidding war. Your heart tells you to do everything you can to get the house while your head tells you that you need to stay within budget. The following tips will help you put your best foot forward and improve your chances of getting your offer accepted.
Have Financing in Place:
You may be up against all-cash offers, so ensuring that you have a lender's preapproval in hand will strengthen your position by allowing you to remove the financing contingency from your offer.
Make a Competitive Offer:
You should avoid the temptation to make a lowball offer. You run the risk of insulting the sellers to the point that they refuse to even counteroffer. An experienced REALTORŪ can help you prepare a thoughtful offer based on market analysis, their experience with the local market, as well as information they can learn from the listing agent regarding the seller's motivations.
Adjust to the Seller's Schedule:
Closing dates are typically negotiated for a time that is convenient for both sides. Agreeing to close at the seller's convenience may give you a leg up over the competition. If the sellers need a little extra time to arrange their move, you can even agree to rent the property back to them after closing.
Remove Sales Contingencies:
Offers that are contingent upon inspections or you selling your current home can make a seller nervous. Removing these stipulations can improve your odds of acceptance when there is stiff competition; however, you should consider the consequences of removing the contingencies very carefully. For example, you want to ensure that you have enough funds in reserve to cover two mortgages for a while. You may also opt for an "information only" inspection so that you will at least have an idea if there are potential issues with the home and can plan accordingly.
Make it Personal:
Realtors often recommend that buyers in a bidding war submit a personal letter with their offer detailing why they fell in love with the house and what it will mean for their family to live there. This will help the seller connect with you on an emotional level and may help tip the scale in your favor.
Know When to Walk Away:
It is important to know your top price before submitting your offer. It is all too easy to overpay for a home when we let our emotions gain control. No matter how perfect a home may appear, it is not worth it if you end up struggling every month to meet your mortgage payment. If you are patient, you will find the right house at the right price.
Finally, you should trust your REALTORŪ. There is a good chance that they have been through more than one bidding war and can help you come up with best possible strategy to get your offer accepted.
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