Tips For Buyers in Today’s Competitive Market

There is currently an inventory shortage of houses available for prospective buyers to purchase in metropolitan Seattle.  It is truly a seller’s market and in general it is a very competitive marketplace for buyers.   This process does not have to be tense and full of stress.  I am here to help you make this a more relaxed and yes, even enjoyable, experience.  Call me if you feel a panic coming on!  If you are in the market to purchase or are thinking about getting into the market there are some considerations:

  • Give thought to your specific needs and wants for your new home.  What features are a MUST for you?  Make a list and don’t be emotional, if the property does not have everything you want, don’t bother, move on.  You don’t want to be competing and involved in a bidding war for a home that you are not completely excited about.
  • You need to move FAST if you want to win.  You need to have all of your “ducks in a row”.  Make sure you have full pre-approval if you are using a mortgage to purchase the home.  With multiple offers, if your offer does not include a pre-approval letter from a trusted lender, you won’t even be considered.   Sellers will want to know that your financing is solid with a reputable lender so avoid internet (.com) lenders.
  • Know the maximum purchase price you will qualify for and look for properties that are 5-10% below this level.  In Seattle, listings that are in good condition (move in ready) are highly desirable and if they are priced correctly (not over priced) you might be in a multiple offer situation and it could be bid up.  You don’t want to fall in love with a house that is listed at your maximum only to watch it be bid up over what you are able to afford.
  • Put $ aside for your “pre-inspection” fund.  Inspections run around $500 and sewer scopes around $250.  Talk to me and we will come up with a plan!
  • EVERY LITTLE THING MATTERS!  Do everything you possibly can to compete:

>   Have tight timelines.  I have inspectors and sewer scope providers that I trust on my speed dial.  If you need a presinspection you will likely have less than a week to get it done.  If the sellers are not allowing preinspections (which is personally the way I prefer to go with my listings) then we will make sure we can get the inspection lined up within a day or two of mutual acceptance.

>  Work with a trusted and organized lender.  Big banks are notorious for not closing on time.  I recommend that you work with a local lender that has a good reputation with the local real estate broker community.  I have seen multiple offer situations where the highest offer did not win because the lender was known for being problematic.

> I feel there is a true value in presenting the offer in person to the listing agent/seller along with the mortgage representative.  If the mortgage representative is not available to meet in person, I will ask them to call the listing agent to discuss the terms of your loan and your pre-approval.

It is important to have a conversation with  the listing agent regarding what is important to the sellers.  You never know, so always ask.