In a competitive market, homebuyers must be strategic when making an offer on a home they hope to buy. Because buying a home is usually one of the biggest investments that a person makes, there are lots of emotions involved when determining how much they want to pay for their new home. Submitting an offer on a home can be daunting for buyers who are worried about overpaying, or about submitting an offer that is so low that it’s not competitive with other buyers. With some guidance from a knowledgeable real estate agent, however, there are ways to avoid common pitfalls. One way to make a home offer more attractive is to identify the factors that are most important to the seller, whether it’s to sell the home quickly, to get the most profit from the home, or not saddling the offer with a lot of contingencies. “A seller may accept a slightly lower offer, or take a financed offer over a cash offer, if, for example, the seller wants or needs possession of the home after closing for a period of time,” suggests Mary Lee of Keller Williams Bellevue. “A buyer has to take possession of the home within 60 days as required by their mortgage lender, but giving the seller even 2 or 3 weeks post-close possession at no cost can tip the scale and help the buyer win the house.” Alex Chavez of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services reminds buyers that it’s important to make an offer based on the current condition of the home, rather than the buyer’s vision of how it can look. “Making an offer based on how the house looks instead of on how it can look with a little TLC will prevent them from getting a bargain,” he said. Instead, he recommends making offers based on comparable properties in the area so that they aren’t acting on emotion. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re submitting an offer that is close to the true value of the home is to rely on the advice of your realtor. Your agent will give you the best information to use when determining what a property is worth. “Your realtor should prepare a CMA (Consumer Market Analysis) of the most current (homes) sold in the neighborhood for comparison,” said Joy Myers of Keller Williams. “The CMA will help you determine the right price to make your offer.” By working with tools like the CMA and the expertise of a professional who has been in the real estate industry for several years, a buyer can ensure that they are making a logical decision and not relying on emotions. “Often times, a buyer might become too attached to a home and in the heat of the moment, they'll choose to go too high with an offer and this can often result in ‘buyer's remorse’ down the road,” advises Bo-Michael M. Apele of Ohana Realty Group. “Take it from a professional who has been in this industry for over a decade and who has seen hundreds of transactions come across his desk: if you don't get the home you're currently pursuing, you'll find another one that you love even more.”
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