Based on data from the National Association of REALTORS®, existing-home sales bounced back at a record pace in June, showing positive signs for a recovery from the pandemic-influenced downturn. If you are looking to buy right now, chances are you'll be met with some competition. Luckily, there are several ways you can make your offer stand out. Beat the competition with these tips for making a winning offer on Chattanooga homes for sale.
1. Do Your Homework
What are comparable homes selling for? How long, on average, do they remain listed? Real estate sales don't happen in a vacuum. They're heavily influenced by factors in the overall market. The more you know about the current lay of the land, the better equipped you are to make an appropriate offer.
2. Line Up Financing
Offers quickly fall apart when a buyer gets swept up in dreams bigger than their bank account. Having a verified pre-approval letter in hand shows you're a serious buyer with the financial means to back your offer. If you want to go the extra mile, lenders are often happy to call a seller's agent to confirm your position and answer any questions.
3. Don't Underbid
Everyone loves saving money, especially on a big-ticket item such as a house. But if you underbid in a competitive situation, you can almost certainly expect a flat-out rejection. Hit the asking price as closely as possible, and in a really hot market, consider going slightly higher.
4. Set an Expiration Date
Sellers often use deadlines as leverage, but that door swings both ways. When you submit an attractive offer with an expiration date, sellers may be prompted to accept rather than lose out on a deal they may not get from anyone else.
5. Boost the Earnest Money
By definition, earnest money demonstrates serious intent to purchase a home. This amount is usually anywhere from 1% to 5%, based on the industry rule of thumb. It stands to reason that if you increase the earnest money, you'll put yourself above other potential buyers. There's no downside to this strategy, as earnest money is directly applied to the down payment.
6. Avoid Contingencies
In most cases, a seller has already gone to a lot of time and expense preparing their home. They're looking for a smooth, trouble-free sale where they won't have to jump through a lot of hoops. Contingencies are added conditions that are deal-breakers for a buyer, allowing them to walk away from a sale. Too many contingencies equal a red flag to sellers, warning that a buyer is too high of a risk.
7. Add a Personal Touch
"Home" is a term charged with a lot of emotion. People have a deeply personal attachment to their homes, which can make it difficult for them when it's time to let go. Send the seller a simple but sincere note telling them why you love their home and how you look forward to enjoying the same happiness it's given them. This can actually tip the scales more quickly than money or other financial incentives.
8. Work with a Real Estate Agent
A good real estate agent has been involved in a wide variety of deals. They have extensive knowledge about the current real estate market as well as different strategies for crafting a successful offer.