Real estate has outranked stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans for the last 5 years.
With the Seattle real estate market defying every housing market trend – a huge problem remains: there are more people looking to buy homes than there are homes available for sale.
With Seattle’s population rapidly growing recently thanks in part to large homegrown businesses like Amazon and Starbucks.
Home values in King County, which is where Amazon is located, have appreciated twice as fast as the national average.
Notwithstanding that the current Seattle market has remained a seller’s market for some time now, Seattle homeowners are still hesitant to sell.
So, what’s a home buyer to do when the market offers them no relief?
There are a few strategies that a potential home buyer can do to not just set them apart from their competition, but help them land the home they dream of.
Follow these home buying best practices and own the home meant for you:
1. Timing is key
a. If you are able to be flexible with your timeframe, let the seller know that you are willing to move as quickly — or as slowly — as they need. If the seller is looking to close their home within 30 days, they won’t be very interested in an offer from someone who won’t be ready to move for 60.
b. Do anything you can do to speed up the buying process and make it easier for the seller. This includes getting a pre-inspection.
c. Get prequalified by a home lender. Pre-qualifying yourself for a loan demonstrates to the seller that you have been vetted financially and details how much mortgage you can afford.
2. Add an escalation clause to your offer
If you want to compete with multiple offers on a home, the best weapon you’ll have in your offer will be using an escalation clause. This will help the seller measure how much more you are willing to pay over another competing offer.
3. Make it personal
When a home seller faces multiple offers, receiving a personal letter from a home buyer can help set that offer apart. Yes, many sellers will just go for the highest bid. However, if the home seller has an emotional attachment to the home, pulling at their heartstrings might just help you land the property.
4. Cash still talks
Make your offer irresistible by contributing more money up front in the earnest money deposit. Earnest money is cash provided by the buyer, ranging from 1% to 5 % of the purchase price, that gets held in escrow until the sale finalizes. Earnest money usually acts as insurance for the home seller in case the buyer backs out of the deal.
Were you able to purchase a home in a seller’s market? Share your experiences in the comments below!