Today's Market

No Joke — It's On Fire


You may have heard that the housing market is on fire. It’s no joke — sellers are golden, it’s their market. Homes are selling in hours with multiple offers, so the landscape for a buyer is cutthroat. Buyers have to be prepared to make decisions on the spot, and expect to go through multiple offers before one sticks.


So, how do you make your way in this crazy market? You have to think outside the box and get realistic about how much you love a place and what it’s worth to you. Knowing what you can do to make your offer stand out is the key to staying in the game.


Being aggressive with your offer is the first step. Everyone loves a good deal, but you aren’t the only player in the game, and low housing supply has left a huge demand in the market. Because of this, prices aren’t going to drop anytime soon. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes: When you’re faced with five or more offers on your home, what’s going to stand out to you? Price is important, but contingencies and remedies are important factors to the seller. They don’t want to spend time touching up paint or replacing light fixtures if they don’t have to. Here are some things to consider being flexible with to stay competitive:


You can tell the sellers that if the bank says the property is worth less than the contracted offer, you are willing to cover the difference out of pocket. Don’t worry, there are limits and parameters you can put in place, such as a cap on the dollar amount that you’re willing to pay. This protects you in case the home’s short appraisal is more than you’re comfortable with.


This doesn’t mean you are waiving an inspection, but you’re letting the seller know that after the inspection, they can skip fixing the minor things that need attention, such as chipped paint, loose railings, squeaky doors, etc. Those kinds of things are easy for you to repair once you take possession. For those minor overall household upkeep issues, it can be a strategic advantage to tell the seller that you won’t ask them to fix those issues.


It’s likely that the sellers are purchasing another home. Being flexible with their move-out schedule is another competitive advantage. Sellers are often in contract for another home, and are trying to align closing on one home while moving into another. Your flexibility shows them you’re committed to making this an easy process.


A personal letter can be huge in today’s market. This is an opportunity for you to paint a picture of who you are and why you love the home. A home is a sanctuary, and holds sentimental value to the sellers. Finding a personal connection with a seller can tip the needle your way when they are comparing offers.


This is the money you put down with your offer to show that you’re committed to working through the deal. Once you reach closing, that earnest money is returned to you or used toward the down payment. Putting more down upfront is a competitive advantage in the eyes of a seller.