Tips for Buyers in a Seller’s Market

Don’t let your dream home slip through your fingers. A solid pre-approval letter will give you a leg up.

Getting preapproved and having a dependable, air-tight written pre-approval from a respectable lender could never be more important than it is today.

In what is called “a seller’s market” multiple offers are being made days and sometimes hours after a property is listed on the market. We have seen purchase agreements that are tens of thousands of dollars more than list price.

This seller’s market has created some unique challenges that serious buyers need to be prepared for.

1. Standing out among the crowd. Anytime you have a competitive situation, you want your offer to stand out among all the others. The best way to do this is to submit your pre-approval letter with the offer. At a minimum, the pre-approval letter should tell the seller that the lender has reviewed your credit, income and assets.

2. Seller concessions. For a long time, seller concessions (i.e. a clause where the seller contributes to the buyers closing costs and prepaid costs) have been common place. However, in this market, sellers are getting more reluctant to except those terms. Aside from this reducing the net proceeds to the seller, sellers understand that many appraisals are not coming in at the contract price. Until comparable sales catch up with the market, this may prove to be an issue.

3. Large earnest money deposit. Another attractive strategy for buyers is to put down a large earnest money deposit. This says to the seller that you are serious about their house and are willing to put money on the table. If The buyer decides to walk away from this agreement, they would lose those funds. I have also recently seen buyers agree to have an earnest money deposit being non-refundable for any reason if buyer does not obtain financing.

4. Quick close date. Buyers are offering to close their transaction faster than other offers. This is attractive to a seller that is trying to purchase another property. Unfortunately, those promises are dependent on more than just the lender. To get from start to finish on a closing, there must be cooperation from appraisers, title companies, realtors, borrowers, sellers, as well as the lender. Nevertheless, in this market it has never been more important to have a lender that has all of their ducks in a row so that the buyer can get to the closing table as quickly as possible.

5. The added phone call. For many of my clients, I will personally call the listing agent after I send a pre-approval letter to let them know that this buyer is good to go. It’s amazing how far that will go to get your offer excepted.

6. Out of town or unknown lender. I’ve heard multiple realtors tell me that they do not except pre-approval letters from lenders they are not familiar with. Right or wrong, this is an important reason to get approved from a local reputable lender.

In a market where your pre-approval is more important than ever, it is imperative that borrowers connect early and thoroughly with the right lender. We’re here to help!

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