The Real Estate market certainly took a hit during the lockdowns and rise of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, this year it came back with a vengeance!
Although it’s certainly cooled down since the crazy multiple offer market earlier in the year, there are still instances where a particularly nice home may put you in a multiple offer situation.
Here are a few tips to remember when you start your home search, whether it’s this week or next year:
Sign on with a Buyer’s agent. Of course, you can deal with the Seller’s agent but having your own representation is invaluable as you navigate a hot market. From their knowledge of the market to negotiating expertise, you’ll find signing with a buyer’s agent is an all around good move. Seller’s agents’ fiduciary responsibility is to the owner, not you. They can also help you to prepare before viewing homes. Speaking of preparation…
Get pre-approved. Your agent can recommend a lender depending on your circumstances. It is imperative for your offer to be complete in a hot market. The lender will tell you what you can afford and what you will need for a down payment and closing costs. A good pre-approval can compete with cash offers when other items in the offer are favorable to the Seller such as a closing date.
Do research BEFORE showings. Know the area well! Drive by at different times of day, as areas that look just fine during the day can change after dark. There may be parking difficulties, or maybe that bar on the corner has some sketchy patrons? You never know, so it pays to investigate! When the market is hot you may have to see the home the first day on the market and make an offer immediately to have a chance, so do your homework.
Know your must-haves. What are the things you can’t live without? Do you have the means to replace components like roof, furnace, and appliances if necessary? Can you live with 3 bedrooms instead of 4? Or, one and a half baths instead of 2 or more? Do you have kids and pets, and so a good size yard is a must? Remember in a multiple offer situation you will need to move fast!
Writing a short letter to the Seller. Your agent will advise you when writing your offer as to price and other components of the contract to make it as attractive as possible to the Seller. However, writing a personal letter to the Seller can add a nice touch that may be all the difference! Tell them how much you love their home and how it will be so wonderful to raise your family there. We have been doing this for years, and I can tell you: selling a home is an emotional experience. Most Sellers appreciate selling to someone who will take care of the home they lived in for many years. It may be what puts your offer at the top!
Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago