In the Twin Cities, we’re in one of the most competitive housing markets we’ve seen in the last several years.
“I’ve been in banking and finance for about 20 years,” says Jen LaCroix, Community Loan Officer with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, “and I’ve not seen this busy of a purchase market in a long, long time.”
So, in her most recent Homebuying Tips video, Jen provides these three tips on how to get your offer accepted in a competitive market.
Get your offer in quickly
Give the seller the highest offer you can afford
Put as few contingencies as possible on the offer
Watch the full video here and subscribe to our Homebuying Tips Video Series for regular homebuying tips from experts in the Twin Cities area:
Timing of the Offer
When visiting homes, you’ll want to determine if you like the house enough to consider placing an offer. Ask yourself, “If there are no other offers on the table, would I still want to submit an offer on this house?”
If the answer is yes, Jen recommends discussing the possibility of making an offer as soon as possible. If you wait 48 hours after your home tour, other offers may have already been submitted or accepted, especially in this market. You must act fast.
Tip: Listen to your Realtor. Most agents will tell you that if you like the house and it’s in your price range, jump on it.
Price of the Offer
Make sure to give a lot of thought to the amount you’re going to offer. It’s important to find a balance between offering too little, while also making sure you don’t offer more than you can afford.
“Only you can pay that mortgage payment,” as Jen says.
Tip: Keep in mind that the seller may have received multiple offers. They’ll typically start by ranking them based on the amount of money offered. If you know other buyers submitted offers, consider offering as much as you safely can, relative to the asking price.
Contingency of the Offer
The second thing most sellers will notice amongst the offers they receive are the contingencies.
What does “contingent” mean? Let’s look at an example: If someone owns a home and is looking to buy a new house, an offer they make on a new house is considered to be contingent on the sale of their current home. In other words, they need the money from the sale of their current home to afford their new house.
Another example is that an offer could be contingent on the approval of financing, which is why you’ll want to get pre-approved for financing before submitting an offer.
Contingencies can impact the overall transaction of the home. hat can lead to lower offers getting accepted by the seller to avoid the potential complications of specific contingencies. Therefore, if you don’t have any contingencies, your offer becomes more valuable to the seller.
However, it is very uncommon to submit an offer with zero contingencies, also known as a non-contingent offer. For example, most offers are contingent on the following:
Inspection (you might not need an inspection if it’s a newer home)
Repair addendums (don’t be too picky with the little things like rusted hinges and dead light bulbs!)
Seller-paid concessions. This is when you ask the seller to pay part of the closing costs (another reason the seller might not want to sell to you)
Technically, you can remove any of the contingencies listed above from the offer. However, Jen recommends consulting with your Realtor before making decisions about contingencies in your offer.
Ultimately, the goal is to make it as easy on the seller as possible to pick your offer, so get your offer in quickly, offer the best price your budget allows for, and include as few contingencies as possible.