Buying a House? 7 Tips How to Get Your Offer Accepted!
If you’re buying a house in the 2021 housing market, we need to have a straight talk… I’m seeing home sellers getting 3%-10% over the list price with guaranteed cash to cover the difference between the price offered and the appraised value.
So what happens if you don’t have 3%-10% of the price of a home saved up on top of the money you need for your down payment and buyer closing costs? Does that mean you can’t buy a house? Nope… It means we need to adjust the approach to play the game differently – to ensure you win!
Look, you can tap out and keep renting or you can think differently than everyone else in the market to score your new home!
Read on to learn how to buy a house in a hot seller's market or watch the video!
The current real estate market brings to mind something Amazon founder and multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos once said. He said, “Complaining is not a strategy. You have to work with the world as you find it, not as you would have it to be.”
To put it another way, complaining about the current housing market is not a strategy. You have to work with the real estate market trends as you find it, not as you want it to be if you’re going to be successful.
From my experiences in helping over 200 families buy and sell their homes in Las Vegas, NV, I’ve learned that real estate is really a lifestyle decision more than anything else. A lifestyle decision in the sense that people most commonly buy and sell homes not on what the real estate market is doing but on what’s happening in their lives.
Instead of being like an ostrich swallowing a shiny quarter with all the “just listed homes” and “new home construction,” what if you look at the homes that have been on the market for more than 3-4 weeks or whatever the average days on the market are in your area? What do you think your odds of success are to get your offer accepted on one of those homes? Probably, much better, right!?
The choice is yours to tap out, to become an ostrich, or to learn how to play the game better and different than the competition to ensure you win!
Tip #2 goes back to the question about why you’re buying a home this year. It should go without saying that failing to plan is planning to fail.
If you don’t want to fail, then gain clarity why you’re buying a house. Why now, what changed in your life? How will buying a home change your future, and why is that important to you?
Whatever your reasons are, write that down in your notes and keep it with you during your home search.
3 common reasons could be that you just got married or perhaps you need more space because you have a new baby on the way. Or maybe you just landed your dream job, and now you’re ready to buy your dream home.
Whatever your reasons are to buy a house, know them and why they are important to you. Keeping this in context will help you during the home buying process more than you know.
The 1st step is to assess your financial situation. How much money do you have saved up to buy a home, and how much of a monthly mortgage is comfortable to you? When you’re taking stock of your financials, please also consider how much money you’ll have after buying your home for any repairs that might come up and for your emergency fund.
Look, it’s easy to get really amped up and excited about buying a home of your own. There’s nothing wrong with that and, in fact, it’s completely normal – I’d be worried about you if you weren’t excited about your new home. What I’m asking you to do is to know your numbers and to ensure you’re not only looking at the here and now but also keeping an eye on the future – your future.
The 2nd step is to apply for a mortgage. You can’t buy a house without having your financial ducks in a row and ready to go. So don’t even think of going home shopping without your home loan pre-approval letter if you’re getting financing or having your proof of funds ready to go if you’re paying cash.
The truth is if you found a house you love, you can’t write an offer without proving you have the money to buy the house – Even if, for some crazy reason, you did, it wouldn’t be taken seriously by the listing agent or the seller. If you were in the listing agent or seller’s shoes, would you accept an offer from anyone that can’t show they can afford your house? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
Start thinking through this now and take action to get to the next step.
One of those steps is getting familiar with the home buying process. You can take action right now by getting a FREE Home Buying Process infographic!
There’s something about acknowledging the fact of knowing what you can truly afford on a max monthly mortgage for your budget without being house broke vs the “ideal” amount you’d like to pay in a perfect world. Speaking of being house broke, if a mortgage lender approves you for $700,000 dollars, that doesn’t mean you have to use the full $700,000 if you can find what you want for let’s say, $550,000. Just something to think about and something to consider.
Look, gaining clarity on this isn’t for us Realtors in as much as this is for you. Knowing your budget upfront will serve you well in knowing which homes to pursue and which ones to let go. Doing this correctly will keep you grounded when things heat up in a bidding war and can be the difference between your dream home you can enjoy comfortably vs the nightmare of being house broke.
Whatever your number is, let your Realtor know so they can show you all of your available options to help you make a well-informed decision that is right for you for the reasons important to you.
Please, don’t be the type of home buyer that does the “secret-search” side hustle to your agent on some other website looking for more or less expensive homes than what you told your agent you want. Doing so will needlessly complicate your home search and get confusing in the process. Keep it real with your agent so they can keep real with you!
Look, you’re getting ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars in some cases on your new home. Shouldn’t you feel comfortable and confident working with your Realtor and know you can trust them?
The Realtor you choose should know your local real estate market, the trends, the indicators, the conditions, and what it takes to help you buy your new home in addition to being a master of the closing process.
Look, it seems to me people google things like what’s going on with celebrities, the stats of professional athletes, or check reviews from other people about the best places to eat. At the end of the day, what value does a person really get from that in life – other than perhaps some temporary entertainment. If it’s something you don’t like, what’s the real consequence to you? Perhaps some nausea, heartburn, indigestion, or upset stomach? That sounds like some kind of Pepto Bismol commercial! Don’t worry, you’ll get over it and you’ll be ok.
So tell me this, why wouldn’t people google the real estate agent that will help them with one of, if not the biggest purchase of most of our lives to check out what’s going on with the agent, their stats, and what other people, like you, are saying in their reviews of what it was like working with the Realtor you have in mind? So what’s the consequence of getting this one wrong? Well, for one, your hard-earned money is on the line and you might absolutely hate the house you buy if you’re able to buy one at all!
If you want to know how to find the right Realtor for you and which ones to avoid – I’ll pop up a card somewhere up here for your check out next.
Really think through what your must-haves are vs the nice to haves in your new home. How many bedrooms does your new home really need? You might want a 5 bedroom home to have space for your man cave, lady cave, or whatever cave and a guest bedroom. But realistically, let’s say a 3 bedroom home will still make you happy and work for your lifestyle.
When you’re thinking through how many bedrooms, bathrooms, the size of the house, yard, and all the things that you visualize in a home you’ll love, write each of them down along with how you’ll use that space.
Then assign each item a rating on a 1-5 star scale where a 5 star is a non-negotiable item and a 1 star is something you could care less about. Anything that’s not truly a 4-5 star on your list are nice to have’s or really not all that important to you when you really think things through.
Be ready to search outside of your preferred areas of town to get what you want. Depending on your budget, this might be a must or simply something to consider to live your best life when you visualize your lifestyle in your new home.
Here’s the thing… I’ve seen home buyers spin their mental wheels so much they crash right into a state of analysis paralysis that caused them not to buy a home. It’s important to realize that no house is perfect, not a new home construction or a resale home. Keep that in mind moving forward.
Opposed to getting in touch with their reasons they want to buy a home, their financial comfort zone, and what’s truly most important to them in their new home, they chose to do nothing and to continue renting.
I wonder what happens when their future self wakes up one morning to realize they could’ve bought a great home a year or more ago and be on the winning side of home appreciation today while paying down their mortgage in a home they own and love?
The contingencies in your offer are there to help you from getting hurt by giving you a way out for specific reasons during the closing process timeline. If you waive your rights, you do so at your peril!
We can’t change the real estate market as much as we might want to, but we can change how we think about it. The reality is real estate markets go up, down, and all around. The one thing that doesn’t change is where you are in life when the time is right for you to buy a home of your own.
In a hot seller’s market like right now, it’s easy to look at what everyone else is doing and think you need to do the same. Here’s the thing, isn’t that a form of herd mentality? The best way to overcome herd mentality is by having a mind of your own!
Step 1 - Have your loan pre-approval or proof of funds ready to go
Step 2 - Get sniper level focus on your home search and only view homes that are 4 stars or above from your home search.
Step 3 – Be ready to make a decision about writing an offer quickly
Step 4 – Be prepared to compete and keep your emotions in check to keep your cool.
Step 5 – If it’s legal where you live, prepare a home buyer letter to the seller aka love letter to the seller.
Step 6 – If you have money to go above the list price and guarantee a certain amount, identify the amount and make your peace with that amount but do not waive your appraisal contingency. To better guide you on how to do this, here is the specific clause I use to give my client’s an edge. This pertains explicitly to the appraisal contingency. It reads, “The buyer agrees up to 25k above a low appraised value NOT to exceed the offer price.”
To bring this to life, let me give you a real-world example. Let’s say you’re buying a $500,000 house and you can pay up to $25,000 out of pocket on top of your down payment and buyer closing costs. If the appraisal comes in at $525,000 all is good. If the appraisal comes in at $500,000 then you still pay $525,000 per the appraisal clause you just learned. If the appraisal comes in at $475,000, you only pay $500,000 per the clause we just covered.
Step 7 – Tighten contingency timeframes in your offer. A good example here is that in Las Vegas, NV it’s normal to request 10-14 days of buyer's due diligence. In reality, when I represent home buyers in Las Vegas, we complete their buyer due diligence in less than 5 days in most cases.
Talk to your Realtor about the contingencies in your offer and how much time is really needed for each one. Then shorten the timeframe as much as realistically possible.
It’s pretty easy to get this right by forming a winning game plan with your Realtor before even looking at a single home. Trust me, when done correctly, the time planning is well worth it when you get the keys to your new home!
Step 8 – Be patient with the seller’s response and be prepared to be asked for your highest and best offer. If your highest and best offer is the one you submitted, then so be it – let it ride. If you want to make it stronger – now is the time to do so.
Step 9 – Keep your perspective by going back on the reasons why you’re buying a house, your financial comfort zone, and stay grounded to what’s truly important to you from what we covered in this video. Having your resolve will help you keep your bearing during your home search phase, offer phase, and closing process. This why the first 6 tips are so essential to get right upfront.
Hopefully, this post and the video above have given you a keen insight into how to get your offer accepted. If you're ready to take your home buying savvy to the next level, download the free home buying process infographic below.
Thank you so much for reading this post! I'm sending you positive vibes everything goes your way! - Andrew Finney
Disclaimer: At the time of writing, Andrew Finney, S.0173260, is a real estate salesperson with King Realty Group (KRG) in Las Vegas, NV. Andrew's videos and blog posts are his own and do not necessarily represent the views and/ or opinions of KRG.