The 2021 seller’s market is in full swing. With home pricing reaching record highs in some areas and demand far outreaching the number of listings on the market, this year’s seller’s market is not going anywhere anytime soon. The upward trend, when it comes to selling power amongst sellers, started in 2020 and continues to climb with fury this year.
If you’re a buyer in this current market, don’t stress it. Although it may be a little bit harder to score the home of your dreams, it’s completely doable if you understand how to approach the market and best practices when it comes to sealing the deal.
Is a seller’s market the right time for me to purchase a home?
A seller’s market can feel intimidating for any buyer, whether it’s your first home purchase or your tenth. Don’t get lost in the idea that your forever home isn’t within reach for you because the demand is higher right now. Instead, focus on factors that can open up your search criteria (and your mind!) to options that fit your needs perfectly. The goal is to check a majority of your wants off of your wish list, if you can do that with a home, you’re in good shape.
The best time for you to purchase a home is when you’re ready. There are challenges in every market, so, go after the home of your dreams when you are financially and mentally ready to move forward.
Here are my top tips to get the most of your offer in a seller’s market.
Open up your location options
Expanding your location search is essential to finding a home that checks off more boxes on your wants list. Location should play a key role in your overall home purchase decision, but don’t have tunnel vision when it comes to choosing the city or town you want. Think outside the box (and outside the city limits) to find homes in places right outside of your desired area. Home prices are skyrocketing in the most highly sought after neighborhoods, so you will, most likely, be thumbing through slim pickings if you are opting for only one set location. Check into nearby locations and see what they have to offer when it comes to schools, amenities and shops. You’d be surprised to discover some diamonds in the rough that you can add to your desired location today.
Avoid getting caught up in the details
If you have, what feels like, a laundry list of wants and needs for your home purchase, it’s time to clean it up a bit. Remove items that aren’t dealbreakers to you and only keep things on there that are must-haves. Zero in on the most important features you need in a home. Think bigger picture versus minute details. For example, you need a home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, but you’d also like your home to have stainless steel appliances. The bones of your home are most important. Features and options, like appliances, can be purchased later on and should not be used to determine whether or not you make an offer on a home that you otherwise love.
Don’t offer lower than asking
In a seller’s market, offering lower than asking price is sure to get you a rejection on your offer almost immediately. In these types of markets, home competition is at the utmost high and bidding wars are standard practice. Offering below asking is a waste of time for you, your realtor, the seller and their team. When reviewing multiple offers, yours will be put to the wayside if your offer is below what they’re asking for. Instead, offer slightly above asking price, within your budget, to show the seller that you are motivated to buy and see value in their home.
Keep it personal
Nothing strikes your seller’s attention like a personal approach to your offer. When reviewing a stack of offers, often, sellers are looking for more than just the final offer price. Share a piece of your story with the sellers. Write up a personalized letter to accompany the offer, including details about your story, your family and why you feel the home is the perfect fit for you. A pro tip is to create a generic, but endearing story, that you can easily add to any offer you place on a home. In this market, it may take a few offers on different homes before one is accepted. Another personal approach to consider is the seller’s happiness. When writing up your offer, ask yourself what the seller wants, besides the offer price. Consider things like a longer or shorter closing window, an appraisal or contingency waiver or the option to lease back after closing. If their options work for you, offer them as part of your deal.
Cash is your friend
If you’ve spent years saving to buy your dream home or have extra cash on hand from the sale of your last property, consider an all-cash offer on your next home purchase. Sellers thrive on security and cash offers provide that for them. Avoiding mortgage stipulations is the ultimate goal for a motivated seller. Without having to worry about funding issues, you can generally close faster and sooner on your home, which may be a positive for your seller, too. The best thing about cash offers? They give you, the buyer, the power back over the sale of the home. Cash offers tend to see a bit more flexibility when it comes to the final closing price.
When it comes to purchasing a home, no matter the market, there are a lot of things to consider. From home size and location to wish list features and community amenities, we can find ourselves getting caught up in the details. In a seller’s market it is imperative that you hone in on your needs, be flexible in your location and focus on the positives of your home purchase. Buying a home in a seller’s market is a fast-paced process that requires quick decision making. If you’re hoping to score the home of your dreams this year and are feeling intimidated by the market, or want to learn more about ways to help you find the best home possible, let’s chat. I would love to guide you through the process of securing a home that is perfect for you and your family for years to come.