In 2018, prices are rising, inventory is scarce, and bidding wars are a given. Hand crafting the right strategy is a must in today's highly competitive market. It's our job to help enable you to act quickly and with certainty.
1. Arrange your financing.
Homes are often pending mere days after coming on the market (if they even make it to the market at all) . If you wait until after you’ve found a home to start the mortgage pre-approval process, you will lose the home in this market to someone who already has their financing ducks in a row. You must get your loan squared away and be ready to close in 15 to 21 days, max.
2. Pick a driven and client centric agent.
Essentially you'll want to look for a real estate agent with a lot of experience, but more importantly, if an agent takes the time to get to know you, your goals and your priorities, this is an excellent indicator she is already setting a foundation of client-centric service. Quite frankly, there is no substitute! Additionally, you'll need to look for someone with extensive knowledge of off-market and "coming soon" homes. Your agent should have the ability to communicate with you quickly and get you in the door of potential homes as soon as possible.
3. Know what you can live without.
Homes are in short supply in the San Francisco Bay Area and it is rare for the "perfect" home to become available. Especially at the right price point. It is very important to know the difference between what you want and what you truly need to live. I've often referred to this as your wish list and reality check. Think of everything you want and separate it into categories, however many you need to determine what you can and can't sacrifice.
4. Act fast.
To be successful and not make a rash decision, be as prepared as possible by knowing the type of home and neighborhood you desire. Your agent should help you get a clear understanding about inspections, contingencies, contracts, escrow and all other essential components of the buying process.
5. Literally get your foot in the door.
If a property that you're interested in hits the market, you should schedule a showing within 24-48 hours. If you wait longer, you risk the possibility of a fast-moving buyer and a motivated seller sweeping the home out from beneath you.
6. Be prepared for bidding wars.
In hot markets, buyers should be prepared for bidding wars. While bidding wars are often about money, there are other elements of the contract that can set you apart from your competition. A shorter closing, willingness to rent the house back to the seller, non-contingent financing, conducting and reviewing inspections before writing and crafting a compelling offer letter can help make a lower offer the best offer.
7. Make the best purchase offer.
In multiple-offer scenarios, your first offer needs to be your best. Don't assume you will get a counter from the seller. Come in with your highest price offer, in your home affordability range, of course. Now is not the time to haggle. Sellers often accept the highest and best offer without giving others a chance to "bring up" their offer. Sadly there is no prize for second place.