Property Mom: How to Win a Real Estate Bidding War

You’ve been searching for your perfect new home in Hoboken for what seems like forever and now, you’ve finally found it! You put in a full-ask offer, do a happy dance, and start calling every moving company in town. Then, your real estate agent calls to let you know the property has received multiple offers and is going to “Highest & Best.” Unfortunately, real estate “bidding wars” are extremely common in Hoboken’s super competitive housing market. There are, however, several ways you can sweeten your offer to help you get a leg up on the competition and become the proud new owner of your dream home:

* Offer Above Asking Price: Of course, one of the best ways to make your offer more attractive to the sellers is to offer more money. Take some time (although, unfortunately, there usually is not a lot in “Highest & Best” situations) to think about how much you want this home, and figure out the maximum amount you are financially able and willing to offer. You will not be able to find out what the other offers are coming in at until after the seller has made a decision, so you want your offer to be as strong as possible.

* Offer All Cash: Not everyone is financially able to do this, however, if you can make an all-cash offer you will have a significant advantage over offers that need to apply for a mortgage. Sellers strongly prefer cash offers so they do not have to deal with the possibility that your loan might not come through, or having to wait the extra time for the mortgage processing. If an all-cash offer is not feasible for you, putting down any amount above the standard 20% down payment can also help to show the financial strength of your offer.

* Waive Part of the Home Inspection: Potential buyers are afforded the ability to have a licensed inspector conduct a home inspection on the property before they purchase it. It is always recommended to have the inspection done to provide you with an in-depth analysis of the home you are buying, however, one thing you can do to make your offer more attractive to the sellers is to waive up to a certain dollar amount (usually anywhere from $500 to a few thousand dollars) of any problems that may be found during the inspection. This will signal to the sellers that you are very serious about the property and will not be nickel and diming them over minor issues that are found.

* Waive the Appraisal Contingency: If you are applying for a mortgage for the property you are purchasing, most lenders require an appraisal, which is an independent assessment of the value of the property. Another way to make your offer more attractive to the sellers is to waive the appraisal. This means that if the property appraises below the contract value and your lender will only underwrite the loan for the financing percentage you specified, you agree to come up with the additional funds to bridge the gap. Sellers love to see this because this means that instead of going back to the negotiating table over the price, you are agreeing to purchase the property at the price you offered, regardless of the appraisal.

* Use a Local Mortgage Lender: When sellers receive several offers, one factor they often consider, is which mortgage lenders the potential buyers are working with for their loan. Particularly in Hoboken, sellers strongly prefer a buyer who is working with a local lender who knows the ins and outs of the unique Hoboken real estate market to ensure the closing process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

* Be Flexible on the Closing: Typical closings take around 60 to 90 days, however, that is just an estimate. Sometimes sellers may need a quicker close if they are closing on another property, relocating for work, etc. On the other hand, sellers may need extra time in their current home to figure out their next move. Being flexible regarding the closing date will remove some of that added stress and pressure the sellers may be feeling.

* Make an Emotional Connection with the Sellers: Selling a home is often an emotional process for sellers, especially ones who have lived in their home for a long time and raised their family there. Writing a heartfelt letter to the sellers (along with some photos) to introduce yourself to the sellers and let them know a little about your family and how much you love their home, can really help you connect with the sellers and make your offer more memorable.

Marissa Martini-Cyprys is a licensed real estate agent with the Maryanski Group at Keller Williams City Life Realty. As a resident and homeowner in Hoboken, she has extensive knowledge of the local residential real estate market. When she is not busy helping her clients, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jon and little boys Jacob and Cameron, and taking advantage of the wonderful community resources, activities and events Hoboken offers young families.

For help with all of your real estate needs, contact Marissa directly:

Email: Mobile: (973) 723-2333

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