You might not be aware, but the housing market has its ups and downs, just like other cyclical industries. It’s advantageous to time your home transactions to align with the market conditions favorable to your situation, such as buying when prices have dipped or selling when home values are higher. But sometimes that just isn’t possible. Maybe you have to move to a new city for work, or you need to upgrade to a larger home, making it necessary for you to buy when prices are higher.
If you find yourself in the situation of needing to purchase a house when inventory is low and prices are on the rise, otherwise known as a seller’s market, there are still ways you can set yourself up for success. Just getting your offer accepted in these market conditions can be challenging, with several buyers making offers, many of which over the asking price.
Below we share our advice on how to get your offer accepted in a seller’s market, so you can still grab that awesome home you’ve been hoping for despite some potential challenges along the way.
What Exactly is a Seller’s Market?
A seller’s market in real estate means that demand, the number of people buying homes, exceeds supply, the number of houses for sale. It’s called a seller’s market because sellers have the advantage, with more buyers competing to buy their homes.
When buying a home in these market conditions, buyers usually compete with each other on offers, resulting in a higher purchase price than they would normally pay. The process also moves faster than it usually would because there are lots of interested buyers ready to lock in the best deal they can get.
Even though it may seem like you’re at a disadvantage in a seller’s market, you can still get a great deal and find a house that you’ll love calling home. Let’s dive into how to make the best of buying in a seller’s market.
GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR LOCAL MARKET VALUES
If you haven’t already researched your local housing market, you’ll want to take time to check current sales prices for your area, along with other specifics like inventory levels and sales activity. Your real estate agent can also help out in this area. They’re in the know through their day-to-day activities, and they can guide you to a realistic price range for your offer.
Getting a clear picture of what to expect locally will help you prepare your budget, leaving you empowered to make an offer that you can afford and that is competitive. This will help you to achieve that ultimate goal of getting your offer accepted by the seller.
With many buyers vying for the same property, sellers tend to gravitate towards the easiest transaction at the highest price point. Getting pre-approved by a lender shows them that you’re serious about the purchase, have put in the pre-work, and is typically a good indication you’re more likely to have a smooth financing process.
It does require a little more effort on your end to provide the necessary documentation and complete your loan application, but it is well worth it to give you an edge in such a competitive landscape.
KEEP YOUR OFFER AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE
While the amount of your offer is probably the first thing a seller will look at, they’ll also consider other contingencies that are part of your offer. For example, if you need to sell your existing home before being able to complete the purchase, that adds a layer of complexity that another buyer might not have. Keeping any constraints to a minimum will increase the likelihood of a seller accepting your offer.
Additionally, in other market conditions, it can be common to work out seller concessions, like their help with your closing costs. In a seller’s market it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get such concessions, though. Instead, focus on paying a fair price and your end goal of getting into the house you’re looking forward to making your home.
GET ON THE SELLER’S GOOD SIDE
If a seller is getting swarmed with offers, sometimes an easily overlooked way to break through the masses is by building rapport with them. This could be done by charming them at a viewing, through a personal note, or some other creative way. The idea here is to build a relationship with them, showing why you’re the best fit for the home, and what them accepting your offer will mean to you. It may sound cheesy, but there are many buyers who will attest that this tip is what made the difference for them and won them their dream home.
KEEP CONTINGENCY PERIODS SHORT AND BE READY TO MOVE FAST
If you ended up having any contingencies in your offer, make sure the periods are short. It’s average for inspections to be done within 14 days, so you can set your offer apart by trimming that down to 7. You can help speed up the process by having a home inspection ready to go the day your offer is accepted and by coordinating with your lender to get an appraisal then as well.
Aside from inspections and appraisals, being ready to move the buying process along as quickly as possible on your end and demonstrating that in each interaction you have with the seller will set you apart and make it more likely for your offer to be the chosen one.
As you read through these tips for getting your offer accepted in a seller’s market, you probably noticed you’ll need a reliable real estate agent and diligent lender at your side to support you in the process. Chat with one of our loan officers today to get pre-qualified see how they’re ready to help you make your offer stand out.