Home buyers have not had it easy over the last few months, with limited inventory making it hard to find the ideal home. And once you do find a home that fits the bill, how do you ensure that your offer is the one that will seal the deal? We asked our agents for the recipe for success when it comes to making the winning offer – here are the four simple ingredients they recommend.
1. Experienced Team
More than ever in the current market you need experienced professionals on your side. Chose a realtor who knows the market in your target towns, can work collaboratively with other agents and understands what you need in a home. Their deep knowledge and connections will ensure they can get you into the latest listings first, know what homes are currently selling for, and gauge the likely interest in a property. They will also work with the seller’s agent to determine if there are considerations other than price that could influence the decision. For example, do the sellers need a quick closing, or do they need time to find another home? The same goes for your attorney and lender – make sure you are working with someone who is active in the local area and understands the nuances of that particular market. Your agent will be able to make recommendations.
2. Solid Financials
Understanding exactly what you can afford is vital to making a successful offer. Getting pre-approval for a loan is just the first stage of the process – you should also make sure you understand what difference a $5k / $10k / $50k increase in an offer will make to your monthly costs. Likewise, be aware of what effect an interest rate increase will have on your repayments – can you afford to keep waiting for the ‘perfect home’ if rates continue to rise? Be prepared to provide proof of any enhanced deposit you may offer and be sure you understand what would be refundable should the deal not be successful.
3. Realistic Expectations
Let’s be honest, there is always going to be some compromise when purchasing a home, especially in today’s market with limited options at any one time. This is when it’s important to understand the difference between NEEDS and WANTS. For example, you might ‘want’ a 4-bed home so that you have space for a home office, but what you actually ‘need’ is a 3-bed home with office space - which could be a converted basement, or a space in a larger dining room. You want ‘move-in ready’ but would be prepared to take on some painting and minor renovation to get the location you want. When you break down your wish list into ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, you open up more homes for consideration. You could also look at homes in a lower price point and think about how you could alter or improve those homes to suit your needs. An experienced agent will be able to help you see past the décor and current layout and explore options to turn a house into your dream home.
This is perhaps the ingredient in shortest supply! Along with managing your expectations, any good agent will tell you that you are going to need some patience to secure your new home. Good things come to those who wait – there are new homes coming on the market, but it could take some time and several offers before you get the right one. Don’t get disheartened if your first offer is not accepted, instead understand that it is part of the process and focus on the next home. Your persistence will pay off and once you are in your new home the “ones that got away” will be a distant memory.
Putting together the offer that secures your dream home is not an exact science, but if you balance your ingredients correctly you’ll have the recipe for success! Talk to a Barrett Sotheby's International Realty agent today to start your homebuyer journey.