Real Estate Ins & Outs October 10, 2020

Making Your Way Through A Seller’s Market

The current seller’s market isn’t the first one Incline Village has known, and it won’t be the last.

Because home buyers and sellers generally have little interest in the real estate market when they are not actively buying or selling, they don’t always realize, or care, how the market moves. But move it does — always.

There is no doubt that 2020 has provided us with a seller’s market.  Anyone owning a piece of property in Incline Village is likely sitting on a hot property. That kind of statement tends to discourage some buyers

However, there are strategies buyers can and should use to create an advantage when trying to successfully negotiate their way through this market.

  • Remember time is of the essence in a seller’s market. In other words, don’t wait to make an offer on a house you like. It will be gone.
  • Don’t lowball. You’re probably not the only buyer who wants that property.
  • Increase your downpayment. The more money you put down, the less you need to finance. So you have less trouble qualifying for a loan. Most sellers realize that.
  • Many home buyers obtain a lender’s pre-qualification letter determining how much of a loan a lender is willing to give them. However, a pre-approval letter makes a stronger impression on sellers.
  • Get pre-approved for a loan. A pre-approval letter from a lender, along with a clean contract with few or no contingencies have won bidding wars — even against cash offers
  • Remember, while pre-qualification can be helpful in determining how much a lender is willing to give you, a pre-approval letter will make a stronger impression on sellers and let them know you have the cash down payment.
  • Be flexible so you can work with the seller. If the seller needs time to move, giving them that time will make your offer stand out against others. If the seller needs to move quickly, make sure you move as quickly as you can.This is another reason to be pre-approved by your lender before you make an offer.
  • It helps to know what motivates a seller. A good buyer’s real estate agent will work with the seller’s agent to create a win-win situation for everyone.
  • Many times a larger earnest money deposit looks good to a seller. Ask your real estate agent for advise, then consider doubling (or tripling) the suggested amount.
  • Don’t ask for favors from the seller. A seller’s market isn’t the time to insist that the washer and dryer be included in the sales price, or ask the seller to make minor unnecessary repairs before closing. 
  • Giving the seller a couple of extra days to move out is not often used as a negotiating tool. A seller will appreciate an offer that lets them move at leisure. That kind of thinking will set your offer apart from others in a bidding war.

Chances are you can buy the house you want — even in today’s tough market.