1. Be ready to lose—and don’t get desperate. Buying a home in this environment means competing with multiple offers, cash buyers and buyers who simply want the home more than you do. “Be prepared to put your best foot forward with a competitive offer, but don’t lose sight of making a good financial decision for yourself,” says Erin Peel, an agent with Better Homes and Gardens Kansas City.
2. Winning might take some creativity. Sellers are in command right now, so you may have to offer a deal, such as letting the sellers rent back from you while they shop for their house, paying for a cleaning service after they move out or even offering to chip in for their movers. “The highest price is not the only criteria that might be attractive to a seller,” Peel says.
3. Stipulated repairs are not a thing right now. You need to be prepared to purchase the home in its present condition. “Have the home inspected, but prepare to review the results and determine if it is a ‘pass/fail’ for you,” Peel says. “For the most part, sellers are not going to be willing to renegotiate and make concessions for repairs with other buyers waiting in the wings.”
4. Understand that the asking price is an opening bid. If you’re preparing an offer, be ready to offer considerably more than the asking price. You’re going to need to rely on your realtor to advise you on how much is too much, but Peel says many homes are selling for ten percent or more over the asking price. She cautions against letting your hopes get too high if you see the perfect house offered online in your budget.
5. Stay positive! “This market is a roller coaster right now, and buyer fatigue can set in,” Peel says. “However, with an experienced agent in your corner, some patience and a little moxie, you will be able to find your dream home and take advantage of these historically low interest rates. As crazy as it is, it is still a fantastic time to buy!”