Tips for Buyers in a Seller’s Market
If you are an active buyer, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, you have undoubtedly found that the lovely home in that charming neighborhood has also attracted an eager group that is as intent as you are about making the home theirs!
There is no magic wand, especially considering that about 30% of home sales in California have been “all cash” sales. Here are some tips I’ve learned that may help….
Connect to the emotional side of the seller.
Sure there are cash buyers and there may be some buyers with larger down payments, but keep in mind that the home has likely been occupied by a seller that has an emotional attachment to the home. Families have been raised and the sellers may be leaving lifelong friends from the neighborhood. They really want the home to go someone that will find many happy experiences in the home, just as they have had. Yes, write a letter, but no, not about what a highly qualified buyer you are. In your letter tell about the features of the home that you fell in love with, including the neighborhood or what wonderful things you’ve heard about the local school. It’s nice to add a note from your children about how happy they are to have their own rooms, a yard for play and inviting friends. You get the idea…explain your feelings and vision! ….and remember, pictures are worth a 1000 words.
Be willing to adjust.
Remember, you are not the only one making an offer. It’s time to be flexible with the closing date or possibly allowing the seller to stay in the home after the close for a reasonable time. Sure it would be nice to collect some rent, but think of letting it go for sake of the bigger picture. Of course, it would be nice to have a generous amount of time to review reports, but many buyers will waive all the contingencies, including appraisal, up front in the offer. Be sure to get the advice of your agent on this one.
This is not the time to haggle.
Sure, we all want a good deal and negotiating may be a part of the process, however, that is not a winning strategy when there is intense competition. My advice; don’t make an offer unless you are really serious about the home and when you make your offer make it your “highest and best” offer.
While some of this may not seem fair, that is not the point. The object is for you to become an owner of your own home. When I say realistic, I mean, if your budget will handle an $800,000 purchase, keep your home search to homes listed in the $600,000 to $700,000 range. Of course, each city and neighborhood are different, however, it is quite common for nice homes in desirable neighborhoods to go 15% to 25% over the listed price in many part of the bay area. This is another time to seek advice from your agent.
With the complexity in today’s mortgage and real estate market you will benefit from the advice and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage and real estate professional.
Russ Boyd can be contacted at 650-325-7877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Russ and his team professionally assist clients in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Russ Boyd Licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate, 01264240. National Mortgage Originator Endorsement 230411.