Home Buying Tips For Today’s Competitive Market

Here are five tips that will give you an edge in today’s competitive market as written by Vanessa Grout for Forbes Real Estate.

1. Move fast
When buying a home, time is of the essence. Cash buyers show strength because they present no financial contingency. But a solid mortgage pre-approval with a short inspection and the as-surance of a quick closing can have equal billing. “Cash is important but it means nothing if the buyer doesn’t act fast,” says Miami broker Chad Carroll of Douglas Elliman. According to William Pierce of Coldwell Banker in Miami, a quick closing is around 14 days. “Bottom line is, a seller wants to know how quickly they can get their money,” says Susan Smith of Hilton and Hyland in Beverly Hills.

2. Exceed the ask
“In most cases the strongest buyers are cash buyers,” says Smith. However, adds Frances Katzen of Douglas Elliman in New York City, “buyers who present an offer considerably above the ask-ing price may find that the seller is much more willing to give them some time to get their financing in order.” Another approach is to show, along with the loan pre-approval, proof of the funds necessary to cover the down payment. Katzen notes that a seller will be more inclined to accept an offer with a financing contingency when the buyer demonstrates sufficient liquidity.

3. Establish a connection
Selling a home can be a sensitive matter, and in some cases sellers are concerned about the intent of the buyer. According to Smith, if the seller has an emotional connection to the property, the owner may favor a buyer who plans to occupy the property over an investor who plans to make major changes and rent or re-sell the property.

4. Show kindness
Leonard Steinberg, President of Compass, a real estate brokerage firm headquartered in New York City, observes that in a sea of self-absorbed, cash-rich people, those who show kindness toward the seller seem to separate themselves and gain an advantage. Paying compliment to the space you are buying never hurts. Buyers are quick to point out a property’s shortcomings, and this almost always backfires. Instead, take advantage of any opportunity you may have to convince the seller that you are the right buyer for their property.

5. Be flexible
Steinberg believes that offering flexible terms and even allowing the current owners to stay after closing (sometimes rent-free) can seal the deal. Katzen also points out that sometimes a seller needs time to get their affairs in order. Your willingness to be accommodating (in certain circumstances) can be more appealing than cash, and in these instances, an offer of a quick closing may be viewed by the seller as a negative. Don’t assume you know what the seller is looking for—ask the seller’s agent what type of terms the property owner is likely to view as most favorable.


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Vanessa Grout is a real estate investor and marketer. She is president of CMC Real Estate, the sales and marketing division of Miami-based property developer CMC Group.

9 Responses to Home Buying Tips For Today’s Competitive Market

  1. Bernard Clyde says:

    I agree that if you want to find the right home for you, you need to move fast. The home market moves pretty quickly, I think, and it’s important that you understand how the process works so you can move through it quickly and effectively once you know what you want. Of course, it helps to become familiar with the are the home is in as well so you can make a more educated decision about the area of your new home and how it will be good for you and your family in the future.

  2. John Mahoney says:

    I agree that it is important to make sure you are flexible when getting a house. It makes sense that doing this can help you make sure you can adjust your budget is needed so you can get the house you want. I can see how anyone looking into this would want to consult with a professional and have them share the load to avoid too much stress.

  3. I like that you mentioned to attempt to make a connection with a seller. People are attached to their homes, so it makes sense that a seller would want to sell to somebody they feel would take the best care of the home. My wife and I have been looking for the right home to buy this year. We will definitely keep these tips in mind, thanks!

  4. John Mahoney says:

    Thank you so much for talking about how there is always room complements when buying a house. We are planning on buying a house as soon as out baby is born and I want to make sure we do a little research before that. Personally, I would want to hire a real estate agent since they have a lot of experience with negotiations and with the paperwork that needs to be done to do the process right.

  5. Ivy Baker says:

    I am really bad at making big decisions quickly. So, I liked that you talked about how you really need to move quickly when it comes to getting a home you like. It would be really awful if a home I liked was taken while I was thinking about getting the home.

  6. Jake P. says:

    These some home buying tips are really awesome and genuine. Me and my wife also planned to be moving at the end of this year, so these tips are matters for me.

  7. Finley says:

    I like how you pointed out that it’s important to show kindness towards a seller in order to gain an advantage. My wife and I are looking at buying a home, but I was told that the market where we’re looking is very competitive. If going out of my way to pay a compliment or too helps give us an advantage, then I’ll be sure to do it.

  8. Ivy Baker says:

    I liked that you pointed out that you need to move fast when it comes to buying a home. I get really nervous about making big purchases. So, that would be a really difficult thing to do for me. But I should probably just make decisions about what I don’t like quicker.

  9. Gloria Andre says:

    Thank you for your post

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