How to make a suc­cess­ful of­fer in to­day’s hous­ing mar­ket

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - REAL ESTATE -

Prospec­tive home­buy­ers can get en­cour­aged by the cur­rent mar­ket. Nearly 68 per­cent of homes sales to­day are to in­di­vid­ual buy­ers com­pared to 53 per­cent in 2011 when in­vestor and cash deals were at their peak. Still, com­pe­ti­tion for hous­ing is hot.

“In a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket, your of­fer may be one of many. But you can take steps to in­crease your chances of suc­cess,” says Chris Bow­den, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of HomeSteps, the real es­tate sales divi­sion of Fred­die Mac.

The ex­perts at HomeSteps and Bow­den are of­fer­ing home­buy­ers five im­por­tant tips for mak­ing an of­fer in to­day’s mar­ket:

• Un­der­stand your fi­nances. While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunt­ing, fully un­der­stand­ing your fi­nances is crit­i­cal to help­ing you de­ter­mine your price limit and whether your bud­get can cover nec­es­sary up­grades, as well as monthly ex­penses for gen­eral up­keep and util­i­ties, which can run hun­dreds of dol­lars monthly.

• Act fast. When home in­ven­tory is low, the sooner you can make an of­fer, the bet­ter. Get pre-ap­proved if you know you’ll need a mort­gage to buy. It will help you act fast and make a con­fi­dent of­fer.

• Make a solid of­fer. A strong of­fer will be com­pa­ra­ble with other sales and list­ings in the neigh­bor­hood. A li­censed real es­tate agent who is ac­tive in the neigh­bor­hoods you’re con­sid­er­ing will be in­stru­men­tal in help­ing you put in a solid of­fer based on re­cent sales of sim­i­lar homes, the con­di­tion of the house and what you can af­ford.

Al­ways ask the seller for a home war­ranty as part of your ini­tial of­fer. That way, you’ll be cov­ered if ap­pli­ances or me­chan­i­cals fail or break down af­ter you’re in the home.

Set your of­fer apart from the com­pe­ti­tion by in­clud­ing a let­ter to the seller, or of­fer the seller the abil­ity to rent back their home for some pe­riod of time af­ter clos­ing. This can be your chance to con­nect be­yond just dol­lars. Talk to your agent about other ways to make your of­fer res­onate.

• Pre­pare to ne­go­ti­ate. Be pre­pared for coun­terof­fers. The two things most likely to be ne­go­ti­ated are the sell­ing price and clos­ing date. Given that, you’ll be glad you did your home­work first to un­der­stand how much you can af­ford. Your agent will aid the ne­go­ti­a­tion process, giv­ing you guid­ance on the coun­terof­fer and mak­ing sure that the agreed-to con­tract terms are met.

• Get a home in­spec­tion. Once you’ve signed the pur­chase con­tract, al­ways get an in­de­pen­dent home in­spec­tion so you know the true con­di­tion of the home. If the in­spec­tion un­cov­ers undis­closed prob­lems you can typ­i­cally re-ne­go­ti­ate the terms or can­cel the con­tract.

More tips, in­sights and home­buy­ing re­sources can be found by visit­ing my­home.fred­

While house hunt­ing is fun, home­buy­ing should not be taken lightly. For best re­sults, get pre­pared. Smart strate­gies can help you make a suc­cess­ful of­fer on a prop­erty.


Nearly 68 per­cent of homes sales to­day are to in­di­vid­ual buy­ers com­pared to 53 per­cent in 2011 when in­vestor and cash deals were at their peak.

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