Over the past couple of years, I would estimate that 60-70% of the deals I've handled have involved multiple offers. If a home is priced correctly, it will sell. Even though we're in a seasonally slow time of year, the last two offers I wrote for buyer clients were turned down, even though both of them were above full price.
If you're a buyer in a strong seller's market, it's important to "bring your A game" when it's time to make an offer. Using a hypothetical situation, if a home is priced at $395,000, and you think you may end up competing with another buyer, you are probably wasting your time bringing an offer less than $400,000, perhaps even $5,000 or more above that.
Think hard about how it might feel to lose a house by a relatively small amount, particularly when rates remain very low and a few thousand dollars won't impact your monthly payment by much at all. Obviously, there's a limit to this line of thinking, but it helps to put things in perspective with your purchase. If you bump your offer up, it's best to have the mindset that you barely won. :)
But beyond the obvious, here are some considerations to help you gain some leverage, particularly if the offers are close:
1. Down payment matters. In the absence of multiple offers, this probably isn't a big deal, but when there are others in the mix, an offer with 3.5% down pales in comparison to one with 20% down.
2. Timing. In Texas, we have option periods as part of our contracts. This enables the buyer to have the unrestricted right to terminate the contract within a negotiable amount of time for a nominal fee. Consider going in with a short option period if possible. The most typical time period is 10 days. Cut this to 5 if you can.
3. Closing costs. One successful strategy I've seen involves moving "typical" seller expenses to the buyer's side in an initial offer (e.g. the title policy). This increases the net amount due to the seller without any additional concerns about whether or not the property will appraise at a higher price.
4. Choose a good agent in the first place. If all other factors are equal, you will definitely increase the chances of having your offer accepted if you have an agent who knows what he/she is doing. Experience and finesse can help.
5. Write a personal note to the seller. This won't help if your offer is way off the mark, but I've seen it help in situations when the offers are all close to each other. List a few personal details and tell the seller why you love the house. It can't hurt.
I hope you've found this list to be helpful. If you're looking to buy (or sell) a home in the general Austin metro area, I would love the opportunity to earn your trust and your business. Feel free to call, text, or email me anytime. I can be reached at 512-796-7653 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23065375@N05
If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com. Thanks!