It’s no secret at a certain price point ( under $400k) in many Essex county communities (Gloucester, Rockport, Beverly, Danvers, Salem, Essex, Ipswich and Peabody), buying a home has become quite competitive. Purchasing real estate in 2013 has its own level of “March Madness“. There are 20, 40 or 60+ people viewing well priced properties at open house(s). There are multiple offers and yes people are paying above asking price. Every house? No, just homes priced appropriately for their age, condition, location and size. Buyers are not offering crazy amounts of money because we all know at the end of the day it must appraise, since most purchases are contingent on buyers receiving a mortgage.
So what will tip the scales in the favor of your offer being accepted, if you are a buyer ? There are four practices I use with consistent success when I know there is a chance that there will be multiple offers.
1) View the house and make the offer ASAP. The early bird gets the worm. Yes it may be inconvenient and you may have to cancel a previous appointment to go view a house. Sorry, this is about getting the house you want, not living a balanced life.
2) Offer asking price at a minimum. If you know potentially there will be multiple offers, forget about “stealing” a property. You like the house, you want it, now get it! Offer above asking to a level your agent or lender feels it will appraise at (and you are pre approved for).
3) Have your agent write the “magic letter”. People like to do business with people they know and like. Share with the buyers how much you like their house. Compliment them about their decorating or cleanliness. Find out what is motivating the sellers to sell and speak to that. Be real and be personal. Don’t laugh this works, I have had several clients achieve their home in a competitive situation because the sellers felt like they knew them and liked them after reading the “magic letter”.
4) Last but not least, always ask the sellers agent for a final and last opportunity to submit a final bid if there are multiple offers. Don’t assume that the list agent will automatically give everyone a chance to rebid; they may not. If a buyer does not want to offer more, they don’t have to, but at least they have the opportunity to make up their own mind about their final bid.