As potential home sellers put their plans on hold due to the widespread impact of the coronavirus, available inventory of for-sale homes shrunk, making the landscape a little more challenging for buyers. If you’re currently in the market for a home, you can expect more competition, but there are strategies you can implement to help make your offer stand out among the rest. Consider these suggestions from Homes.com National Speaker and real estate professional Rebecca Donatelli:
Get in touch with the listing agent. Talk to your agent about how they’ll communicate with the agent representing the home seller. Have them ask questions about the home’s availability and if there are other offers on the table…and what they may be like. The listing agent may be unable to share this information based on the seller’s request, but it’s worth trying. Donatelli also recommends finding out about the seller’s preferences in terms of timeline and title company so that you can be as accommodating a buyer as possible.
Make a straightforward offer. The fewer contingencies associated with the offer you make on a home, the better. In these trying times, sellers will gravitate to a deal with simple terms. Also keep in mind that it’s not always about price—the best offer will be the sum of the terms that work best for the seller, says Donatelli.
Be quick. In a seller’s market, you need to be ready to move fast, otherwise, you’ll be overlooked for another offer. Talk to your agent about their availability for showing homes, and how much they’ll be able to do virtually…which can save you both time.
Help expedite the review process. Once you make an offer, there can be a lag as the seller and their agent start the review process—especially when multiple offers are present. Donatelli suggests working with your agent to create a one-page outline that highlights the terms and contingencies to add to the front of your offer package. This will allow the seller and the listing agent to get a quick view of your offer in order to move things along.
All-cash offers are extremely attractive in a seller’s market, so if that’s an option you can provide without overextending yourself financially, it may be worth considering.