In case you haven’t been keeping up with real estate news here in the coastal region – IT’S A BIG TIME SELLER’S MARKET OUT THERE RIGHT NOW!
A good percentage of homes over the last few months are going under contract in days, sometimes even hours, of being placed on the county’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
This is great news for sellers as inventory is low (too low, in fact) and there are tons of buyers competing for a relatively small amount of properties in both southern Delaware and coastal Maryland.
In you’re a buyer, or potential buyer, you need to move quickly if you find a home that you like. If you wait too long, it’s going to go to someone else.
And that brings us to the topic of today’s Oldfather Group blog entry – how to win a bidding war on a home in the current market environment.
Believe us when we say that bidding wars are happening right now on several properties. With inventory levels considerably lower than they’ve been in several years, there just aren’t that many homes to go around.
So if you find a home that you really like, what can you do to ensure that you’re the one receiving the keys within a few weeks of making an offer?
Well there are options available, but you really should discuss them with your Realtor before making any decisions on how to proceed if and when this situation presents itself.
Let’s go over a few of the most useful strategies for winning a bidding war on a residential home at the Delaware and Maryland beaches.
Tip # 1 – Include An Escalation Clause In Your Written Offer
You want to be careful when using this strategy to ensure that stipulations are written out in clear and easy to understand terms.
Think of this in terms of bidding for something on eBay. You can enter your maximum bid on something you desire and whenever someone else places a bid that’s higher than yours, the bid goes up incrementally until your maximum price is reached.
This is essentially what you’re doing with an escalation clause. Your offer will go up automatically when someone places an offer that’s higher than yours.
Just make sure you specify that final sale price (the most you’re willing to pay), so you don’t end up offering more than you can afford.
This is a great way to show sellers that you’re serious about buying their property.
Tip # 2 – Waive Some Contingencies
This is something you’re definitely going to want to discuss with your Realtor, but it is an option to make your offer more competitive and attractive to sellers.
You need to be careful though not to waive contingencies that are necessary and in place for your protection as a buyer. Discuss this in earnest with your Realtor before going down this route.
That disclaimer now fully stated, some contingencies you could consider waiving revolve around issues like satisfactory appraisals, home inspections and mortgage accessibility.
Just be 100 percent certain you understand what each contingency means before signing on the dotted line.
Tip # 3 – Make Concessions/Be Flexible
If you want to get the seller’s attention, consider having your Realtor ask the listing agent about things that are important to them.
Maybe they have their heart set on a certain settlement date, or they’d like to free up some of their closings costs for other purposes, or any one of several other issues.
If this is a home that you really have your heart set on, you can increase your standing with the sellers by tackling one or more of these issues head on. Agree to pay some or all of their closing costs or do whatever else you can to make your offer more attractive.
Have a discussion with your Realtor to see if he or she has any further ideas in this area.
Tip # 4 – Get Personal
This one is a little more of a long shot. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
If this is a home you think is perfect for you and your family, consider writing a letter or email to the sellers and letting them now how much you love the property and how it’s the perfect place to raise your kids, start your life at the beach, etc.
Most people have sentimental attachments to their homes and have an interest in it going to someone who’s going to take good care of it.
It may tilt the scales in your favor, then again it may not. But it certainly can’t hurt to establish a personal connection with the sellers.
For more tips on how you can make your offer stand out from the crowd, contact the Oldfather Group today at 302-260-2000 and speak with a member of the coastal region’s most successful real estate sales team.
Let’s make your dream of home ownership at the Delaware and Maryland beaches a reality!