By Laurie Whitehead
As most of us know by now, inventory is extremely low in the in town Atlanta market. Having the right tools in place before beginning the buying process can be the difference between going under contract on the house you love or missing out entirely. With these tools in place and an agent who is knowledgeable in how a seller’s market works and the neighborhood you're seeking, your chances are much better to land your dream home.
- Before even beginning the house hunting process, speak with a financial advisor to find out exactly what you qualify for in a home purchase. In this aggressive seller’s market, a mortgage pre-approval letter is crucial to include in an offer. It shows you’ve done your homework in advance and allows the seller to feel more confident that you qualify to purchase their home.
- Base your offer on the value of the home and not necessarily the price listed. Do your homework. Have recent, comparable home sales information. If the home is priced at or below market value, you’ll know there is little to no wiggle room on the price. If the home has been on the market a while and priced above market value, you’ll know there is room to negotiate here. An experienced agent can provide you with all this information to make sure you’re going in at the right offer price.
- In this aggressive seller’s market, be ready to move fast on your offer. When I say fast, I mean immediately. Go in with your best and most attractive offer possible. Buyer’s who want to negotiate price on a new listing that’s priced right learn quickly after losing out that they need to put their best offer out initially.
- Whenever possible, be as accommodating as possible with your offer. This could mean removing inspection contingency or putting more money down. If you have flexibility on when you can close or can close quickly, offer it as an option. The seller could be relocating, going through a divorce or in no hurry to move and may even want to rent back from you. Having flexibility can be a huge advantage when negotiating a contract.
- Consider including a heartfelt letter explaining why you love the house and what it would mean to you and your family. Doing so will allow the seller to see you as a person and not just a written contract. Most sellers want someone to love their home as much as they do so writing something personal and meaningful about their home can mean so much.
- When negotiating on price, don’t get hung up on a slight increase in price. With current low interests rate, paying an extra few thousand dollars on the purchase price may only increase your payment by around $20 to $25 a month. Your financial advisor can explain the dollar increase with a higher offer, but don’t get stuck on a number and lose your dream home over such a small increase. *check with your financial advisor for actual amount
- While an inspection is your safety net for walking should any major, red flag repairs need to be made, don’t expect the seller to make as many repairs in a low inventory market. You can and certainly should ask for major repairs which could be a deal breaker, but don’t get hung up on the small items. An experienced agent will help you sift through what’s important and costly versus minimal repairs that can be done after closing.
- Use your agent as a valuable resource to find out as much information as you can about the home. Pulling the tax record will give you valuable information on what’s owed on the home, when it was on the market last and if there has ever been a foreclosure. When purchasing a home, it costs you no more to work with an agent than to represent your self. The realtor fee comes out of the seller’s proceeds so take advantage of their expertise herel! Their knowledge and understanding of the market can be invaluable to you on your home purchase.
CONTACT the HomeTeam Realtors for helpful tools to make the right move and win the home of your dreams. firstname.lastname@example.org
*Laurie is a licensed realtor with The Home Team @PalmerHouse Properties and a registered Mediator with the State of Georgia.