Buyers in this market are getting very agressive!

Its becoming an aggressive sellers market out here in Tracy right now. Our inventory is at all time lows and there are many buyers competing for what little inventory is out there.  Its very tough in this market to get an offer accepted but here are a few ideas on how to get the sellers attention without having to crash your car into the side of a real estate building:

1) Know the comps or recent solds in the neighborhood. It doesn't matter what the asking price is, it matters what the neighborhood is selling. Some house are priced low to attract attention, others are priced high because the sellers are also high.

2) The more money down the better. The more down payment you can represent on the contract the better. Keep in mind you need to support the down payment with bank statements. Also as long as you close the sale on time you could change your mind on how much you actually put down.

3) Get pre-approved with more then one major bank. Most of the big banks are requiring buyers to submit offers with a pre-approval from their bank on their listings. So having a Wells Fargo, Chase, and BofA approval all ready in hand will help because it usually takes a week or so to be approved so by that time the seller will have accepted an offer. It will also be good from a shopping aspect to find the best loan deal with the best service. Also keep in mind one bank may require a pre-approval with their bank but they can not require you to use that bank once in contract.

4) If you are owner occupied and its a short sale write a letter. Let them know how you will love the house and take care of it. How you appreciate all the upgrades and how if they accept your offer you will be so grateful. This will help differentiate you from the other buyers as well as get the owners to look at your offer as human. With short sales its the owner who is losing the home who accepts the offer not the bank so sometimes its not the best terms or price but who the seller likes the best. With the banks or a flip home its more cut and dry. They are looking for the best terms and price.

5) Make your deposit as large as possible. A bigger deposit will make the seller feel better with your offer. It shows commitment. But that commitment is also an illusion as there are contingencies with the contract allowing the buyer to back out and have the deposit returned to them. But as a seller when you are looking at the same priced offer and sees a deposit of 1K vs. 10K that makes a big difference.

6) Submit an offer that ends in $1,000 or $6,000 instead of even ten thousand or five thousand.
Example: Offer (value after any considerations) offer 251K instead of 250K or 276K instead of 275K. The reason is most buyers will offer round numbers and your offer can be excepted over someone Else's based on just 1K difference. This is especially true with bank owned properties.

7) Remove or limit your contingencies. There are three contingencies to the contract, inspection, appraisal, and loan. That means a buyers right to back out and receive their deposit back. By default contingencies are 17 days. If you are comfortable with the price point and sure the comps support it you could remove the appraisal. Inspection contingency could be removed if the house is in excellent condition or reports are already provided. Inspection contingency could be limited to 5 days instead of 17. If removing some contingencies always leave something in place for an out, that is my advice.

8) If possible don't ask for a seller credit for closing costs. At this point with 10+ offers on properties sellers are looking for no credit. Especially for flip homes. If you do need help with closing costs consider having your mortgage lender utilize a lender credit to help the buyer pay for closing costs.

9) Have your lender call the listing agent immediately after the offer is submitted. This is to stress that they have done their homework and the buyer is fully pre-approved and that appraisal will be ordered within 24 hours of approval or acceptance.

10) On a short sale, offer to put your deposit into title upon seller acceptance while we wait for short sale approval. This will show the seller that we are going to stick with the offer. Many times it takes 3-6 months for a short sale to be approved. Sometimes once a short sale is approved the buyer has disappeared and then it has to go back on the market for pre-approval. Putting a deposit into escrow while you wait shows the seller you have some "skin in the game".

11) Put out many offers and don't be emotionally involved. Its a process and don't start moving in once you put your first offer in. Its a process and there are many buyers out there.

12) Use a well known local agent like myself when making the offer. It will help to differentiate your offer from the others. Although they don’t have much if any influence over the bank’s decision, the listing agent may be willing to give your buyers agent useful advice that may help your offer.

Its important to look at who your seller is then think about your buyers strong points and tailor your offer accordingly. REO homes love cash and a quick close. With Flip homes its more about what the seller is netting then anything else, they are not going to give a cash buyer a discount. With short sales its more personal and important that the buyer sticks with the offer more then the financing.

Yes the photo above is a car that crashed into our building yesterday. Everyone is ok. Have a good day and happy house hunting.