Have you been looking for a first home or new home in Atlanta? More and more, Atlanta home buyers are finally finding their “dream home’…. only to learn that it is also the “dream home” of four or five other home buyers.
So how do you beat the competition when there are multiple offers for that perfect Atlanta home? We’ve assisted dozens and dozens of buyers in multiple offer situations and were able to secure the home for at least 95% of them and wanted to share some simple tips that will help you stand out from the sea of offers on a home.
First, you have to get over the idea that it is still a Buyer’s Market. When a particular neighborhood is in high demand, inventory is low and homes are staged / priced to sell, then they are going to sell quickly… often at or over the listing price.
Second, put yourself in the shoes of the seller. What would make them want to select YOU? Sellers want reassurance that the buyer they choose is well-qualified and will be the same one they see at the closing table in 3 to 6 weeks.
2) CONTRACT TERMS
- Keep the contract clean and simple
- Don’t ask for lots of extras
- Avoid multiple contingencies, if possible
- Keep the contract timelines to a minimum — for example, it would be nice to have a 14 days for the home inspection / due diligence period, but could you get the job done in 7 days?
Every multiple offer situation is different. Sometimes you only have one shot to submit your best offer, other times the seller will come back and ask for all of the buyers “highest and best” offer. Try to find out which route the listing agent / seller is going to take (sometimes they haven’t decided) AND how many offers are currently on the table.
If there are more than two offers, most likely the home will sell for over the listing price. If there are more than five or ten offers, it may sell for 10% or more over the listing price.
Based on what you find out, bid accordingly. The best advice would be to submit an offer that you feel most comfortable with and even if you lost the home, you can sleep at night, knowing that you put your best foot forward.
On other bidding tip is to use an odd number with your offer price, instead of the standard $5,000 increments. A few examples:
- Listing Price is $250,000 and you offer $256,000 (usually the other bidder will only bid $255K)
- Listing Price is $399,900 and you offer $411,500 (usually the other bidders will bid $405K or $410K)
- Listing Price is $97,000 and you offer $100,500 (usually the other bidder will bid $99K or $100K)
4) PRE-APPROVAL LETTER
Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved with a lender is always necessary when submitting an offer to purchase a home. Going the extra step and getting pre-approved by a second lender is a bonus when there are multiple offers.
Sometimes you are bidding against cash buyers, so giving the seller some reassurance that you are well-qualified can go a long way.
5) MOVING DATE & POSSESSION
Sellers are often stressed at the thought of finding another home and moving too! I would recommend that you initially ask for the closing date that you would prefer, but when you submit the offer, let the listing agent know that you are F-L-E-X-I-B-L-E!
In Georgia, many buyers allow the sellers to stay in the home for 2 or 3 days after closing, so they know that the home is officially sold before they pack up a moving truck and/or close on the seller’s new home. This is also a nice touch in a multiple offer situation.
6) ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH
Even if it isn’t a multiple offer situation, it is always smart to include a note to the seller with your offer. Sharing a bit of information about yourself will not only make you stand out from the crowd, it can also ease tensions and encourage a more cooperative environment during negotiations. A few examples might be:
- Letting the seller know what you love most about the home
- Sharing any personal tidbits about your profession (i.e. I work at the IBM building less than 2 miles away) or personal life (i.e. we were recently married and think that this home will be the perfect place to start our family), etc.
- Any common interests (i.e. I noticed you were a Florida Gators fan and I did my undergrad at UF – or – I think my dogs will enjoy the backyard as much as yours seem to)
Please note: If this is a foreclosure property, adding that personal touch won’t be as effective, but it definitely can’t hurt!
Entering into a multiple offer situation can be very stressful, but hopefully our tips to beat the competition will help you get your dream home!
If you have questions about the home buying process, call us anytime at 404.721.3001.