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5 Things Homebuyers Need To Know When Making an Offer

When you’re eyeing a house on the market, you might only have one chance to make an offer that will surely wow a seller. Due to the sky-high buyer demand partnered with near record lows in house inventory, chances are a multi-offer scenario will take place. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re making that offer.

1. Know Your Numbers

Having a clear understanding of your budget and how much can you afford is a necessity. One way to let the sellers know you’re serious is by getting pre-approved early in the home buying process. This will also show that you’re a qualified buyer which can give a deciding edge in the bidding process.

2. Brace for Fast Pace

The market today is moving on a fast pace. According to National Association of Realtors’ Realtors Confidence Index, the average house is on the market for just 17 days! The whole buying and selling process takes roughly 2.5 weeks. Having an experienced agent can help you stay on top of things and make sure that you’ll have all the opportunities you can get. Once you find the perfect home, your agent should be able to make the perfect offer as quickly as possible.

3. Lean on a Real Estate Professional

The whole home buying process may seem like a whirlwind to you but local real estate agents do this every single day and know what works well. That expertise can be used to give you a significant edge over your competition. An agent can help you consider what levers you can pull that might be enticing to a seller, like:

  • Offering flexible rent-back options to give the seller more time to move out
  • Your ability to do a quick close or make an offer that’s not contingent on the sale of your current home

It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller may need can help your offer stand out.

4. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer

We can’t deny that we all love a good deal. In the past, offering at or near the asking price is enticing enough for the sellers. In today’s market, it is significantly harder than what it used to be. According to NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun:

“For every listing there are 5.1 offers. Half of the homes are being sold above list price.”

In such a competitive market, emotions and prices can run high. Use an agent as your trusted advisor to make a strong, but fair offer based on market value, recent sales, and demand.

5. Be a Flexible Negotiator

If you followed tip #3, you drafted the offer with the seller’s needs in mind. That said, the seller may still counter with their own changes. Be prepared to amend your offer to include flexible move-in dates, a higher price, or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Just remember, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to forego. Freddie Macexplains:

Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is’, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”


When it’s time to make that offer, it is important to think of what you may need but also think of what the seller needs. This gives your offer an advantage over other competitions. If you want to have a standout offer, let’s connect and we’ll be happy to help.

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