I wrote a version of this newsletter a few years ago and as our Front Range market has continued to be a hot spot of real estate activity, I thought it was worth revisiting the ideas in this one!
The COVID pandemic and political and civil unrest have done little to dampen interest in our local real estate market. As I’ve written over the last couple months, inventory of homes for sale has been tight and we have seen fierce competition from buyers in some areas. Someone told me earlier this week that they thought the market activity may be due to so many folks canceling vacations, weddings, and other milestone events. I think she may have been on to something! If other parts of life are going on hold, that may be why there are plenty of buyers out there snatching up houses.
So what do buyers need to keep in mind if they would like to purchase a home this year?
See below for information and strategies about how to win when you might be up against other buyers.
1. Get Prepared:
Talk to a local, reputable lender and get pre-approved for your mortgage. It’s always a bummer for our clients when they postpone getting pre-approved and then miss out on the perfect place because they weren’t ready to pull the trigger. Don’t let this be you! It takes a while to pull together the financial documents your lender will need and sometimes folks have to do their taxes or pay off some debt to be pre-approved. Get started on loan pre-approval early- you will be glad you did!
2. Be Quick:
Once you are pre-approved, if you see a home come on the market you like, get there for an in-person showing on day one, if possible. Being the first to see a home and make an offer speaks volumes to sellers. It’s also worth noting that many homes are being listed on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays right now, with the idea that showings will be on the weekend. When you are ready to pull the trigger on a new home, make time to see homes earlier on in the weekend. Waiting until Sunday afternoon or Monday to see a home you like may not be a successful strategy.
3. Write Offers with the Seller in Mind:
Sellers don’t just focus on price. What else can you do to sweeten the deal? Let them pick the closing date, take their washer and dryer, or let them stay in the home a few days after closing for free. Those are all ways (and there are many others) to write a thoughtful, compelling offer, that makes the seller’s life easier, without having to go higher and higher on price.
In addition to helping our buyers write compelling offer terms, Ken and I also frequently have our buyer’s lender call the listing agent to provide financial assurance about our buyer’s loan (without disclosing any confidential information, of course). We also provide our own coverletter to the seller’s agent. It’s all about presenting the complete offer package and many times our buyers win multiple offer situations, even if they don’t have the highest offer price.
As always, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear from you!