This post is brought to you in partnership with Savvy + Co. Real Estate. All opinions are our own.
It’s the third month of the year and that means one thing—March madness! If your no-fail bracket plans include finding and making an offer on your dream home, having a solid game plan in place ups your chances of walking away with the big W.
Just like your favorite college team hitting the court, it is best to be prepared. The busy Charlotte spring selling season combined with low inventory means you could be competing with other buyers for the same home. To get you ultra prepared, C5 sat down with the winning team at Savvy + Co. Real Estate to see what you can do to cruise past the competition and land a slam dunk.
Before you start the full-court press, the most important thing is to get pre-approved by your lender. Not pre-qualified, but pre-approved. Submit the lender pre-approval letter with your offer. This lets the seller know you are financially vetted for the move and very likely to make it to the closing table.
Savvy advice: “It’s so important that you start first with getting pre-approved by a lender, especially in this hot market. When you find a home you love, you want to be able to act on it right away, and you can’t do that without a pre-approval. Waiting a few days to get the paperwork squared away with the lender could cost you to miss out on your dream home. Also, you don’t want any surprises. You want to be sure that you’ll be comfortable with the mortgage payments in the price range.” — Jessica Banks, Savvy + Co. Real Estate
Don’t foul out
Do your research to see how much other homes in the neighborhood have sold for over list price. This will give you an idea of how to shape the offer. Keep in the mind, the contract price needs to appraise. Sound confusing? This is another great reason to have your Savvy + Co. Real Estate professional with you every step of the way.
Savvy advice: “Ask your agent to determine market limitations that an appraiser might reasonably conclude. Remember, unless you are paying full cash, most lenders have a set limitation on loan-to-value (LTV). Understanding how appraisals impact your offer on the back end of the transaction can be essential in positioning yourself to both have your offer accepted and being able to get to the closing table without hiccups or out-of-pocket expenses.” — Julie Coffey, Savvy + Co. Real Estate
Create a solid strategy
Make your offer as clean as possible. Seller-paid closing costs, home warranties and other expenses make an offer look less desirable. You might also want to refrain from asking the seller to do cosmetic home improvements like painting a room or replacing carpet. A clean offer is usually more appealing to the homeowner and makes the transaction less cumbersome.
Skin in the game
Offering a larger amount of due diligence and earnest money shows the seller you are serious about their home and puts them at less risk when they take it off the market. Of course, cash is king and will usually always win if accompanied by a strong offer.
Savvy advice: “The North Carolina contract is very buyer-friendly. For a relatively small amount of due diligence, you can lock in your offer, and the best part—when you complete the purchase, your due diligence is credited back to you! If you’re bidding on a hot property and it’s in good shape, consider a larger due diligence and lower earnest money that makes your offer stand out.” — Mike Gibbons, Savvy + Co. Real Estate
Sometimes getting personal will help turn the tide. Write a letter to the seller about why you love the house. Sure, sellers are ready to move to their next home, but they want to know their former abode will be loved, taken care of and left in good hands.
Savvy advice: “Personal letters to the homeowners are a HUGE help in winning a bidding war. Sellers want to know the buyer will love and appreciate their home just as they do! In 90 percent of multiple-offer situations with my buyers last year, they won the bid, and I believe that their personal letters to the sellers were the icing on the cake in their offer being chosen above the others. It also shows the seller the buyer is serious and invested in the home.” — Jessica Banks, Savvy + Co. Real Estate
With these tips and the experts at Savvy + Co. Real Estate team, you are ready to go to the big dance.
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