Bidding The Right Way in a Seller’s Market

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You’ve found the perfect house, one that is just right for your family, meets all your needs and checks all your boxes. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned expert, once you decide to make an offer, it’s important to be proactive to stand out among a sea of buyers in a competitive seller’s market. 

A seller’s market means there is a higher number of buyers for the homes for sale, which means that in order to beat a contingent offer from another buyer on your dream house, you’ll have to think creatively and go the extra mile in both your intentions and your financial offerings. Here are some steps you should be mindful of in a seller’s market to make your offer more compelling:


Keep Proof of Funds and Pre-Approval Ready

Once you decide to make an offer and throw your hat in the ring, showing proof of funds can often make or break purchasing chances for first-time homebuyers.

Speed is crucial when it comes to making an offer a couple of days after the viewing, and in a hot seller’s market, this window of time may be even shorter! Keeping your supplemental paperwork in order can give you the advantage of being “offer ready” when you find the property you want. Keep your mortgage pre-approval documents and proof of funds for the down payment ready to go ahead of time.


Don’t Wait Too Long to Make an Offer

Since there are more potential buyers than homes in this scenario, you need to be prepared to make an offer – and fast. Any hesitation in a seller’s market would likely increase your chances of missing out on the property you set your sights on. Low-balling may not be the best strategy in a seller’s market. Since the competition for your desired home is greater than usual, come in with a strong offer right from the start.


Put Down A Strong Earnest Money Deposit 

An earnest money deposit (EMD) is proof that you’re a good-faith buyer and this EMD will contribute to your down payment and closing cost. Typically, EMDs account for about 1 – 3% of the purchase price of the home, and should you put a larger amount down, it may show the seller that your intentions are genuine and that you’re a serious buyer.

Also be sure you intend to follow through on the purchase after you put down the earnest money because in cases where one signs the contract and doesn’t buy the house, the seller could keep the EMD as compensation for time wasted.


Bonus: Write A Personalized Offer Letter

A personal note (or even a video!) to the seller explaining why you’re the perfect buyer for the home, just might set your offer apart from the others. Typically an offer letter is succinct and to the point. However, not everything in a home sale is about money. To connect to the seller emotionally, a genuine compliment in the form of a well-written personal letter could go a long way. 

Mention how you would enjoy living in the home they’ve maintained so well, for example, speak to how you would maintain the architectural heritage of a historic home, or even add how much you look forward to taking care of the garden on the property.  This also helps showcase that you have a sentimental attachment to the home.


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