You have finally found the home of your dreams and you’re mentally decorating it in your head! Planning where all your furniture is going to placed and cooking dinner in your brand new kitchen is all very exciting. However, there is one major step you have to take to make this house your home. You’ve got to make an offer that wins the house.
Seems simple enough right? Well, in this highly competitive real estate market, that is easier said than done. So don’t blow your chances of owning this house with any of these common home offer mistakes.
If you have fallen in love with a house, the worst thing you can do is wait to make an offer. Having feelings of uncertainty are completely normal, especially considering this is the probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make. However, the longer to take to make an offer the greater the chances someone else will take it right from under you.
Time kills a deal. If you drag your feet you could end up in a bidding war with another buyer or miss out altogether. Not only should you be emotionally ready, but logistically ready as well. Meaning pulling together all your paperwork (bank statements, pre-approval letter, and any documents supporting proof of funds) while house hunting.
Offering Your Max Amount
In today’s market, houses that are well priced are normally bombarded with offers, and the buyer that comes out victorious is the one who is prepared for a bidding war. Ensuring your financial arsenal is the best way to arm yourself for battle. That includes getting pre-approved to buy a home.
When you make an offer, beware of submitting the exact price you were pre-approved for. Many buyers come in with a pre-approval for the exact offer price, but when you’re competing against other offers you want to show financial strength. An exact pre-approval could make a listing agent nervous because not only does the buyer not have any wiggle room to negotiate, but they might no longer qualify if interest rates rise. In this market, it is often a good idea for buyers to look at homes under their max loan amount. When you have to bid against multiple offers, they will need some room to go up, and if they are at their maximum amount, that probably won’t happen.
Using An Obscure Lender
Also, consider using a well-known local mortgage lender or bank. Agents, and therefore sellers, are generally more comfortable with a local lender they know and trust.
Trust your realtor and bid accordingly. Even if that means offering a little more than you think you could get away with. If you lowball the seller in the hope it will spark a negotiation, that could backfire. A lowball offer that isn’t backed by math or comparable sales data is disrespectful and could turn off the seller.
Waiving the Inspection Contingency
Whether it is a new build or your mom’s house you’re buying from her, get it inspected. An inspection is the only way to uncover potential flaws that could cost major cash to fix. If you waive the inspection in your offer, you stand to lose your earnest money if you back out.
Letting Outsiders Sway Your Offer
When buying a home, you are probably going to want a second opinion. Just be cautious of letting these people, who mean well but haven’t seen the many homes you’ve seen, influence your offer.
The adviser does what they think is best and tries to protect the buyer and usually slams the home. Unfortunately, they don’t have the education in seeing the other 10 homes or understanding the market. If you are going to rely on outside advice, then ask the person who has accompanied you through as much of the process as possible.
Not Selling Yourself
Since this is a seller’s market right now, the buyer needs to look as good to the seller as that picture-perfect house looks to you. Plus, it is not just about looking good on paper. In fact, the offer process begins the moment the buyer steps through the door at the open house or showing.
In today’s highly competitive environment, the listing agent is trying to determine which buyer will be the easiest to deal with. That is why buyers should avoid pointing out defects, asking a lot of nitpicky questions, or even insulting the owner’s decorating decisions. Basically, buyers who act less than enthusiastic will see themselves at a competitive disadvantage when sellers are comparing multiple offers. Also, a personal touch, such as a letter to the seller, could be enough to boost you to the top in the seller’s mind.