You’ve seen every house on the market and you’ve finally found the spot you can’t wait to call home. In fact, you’ve mentally decorated it and planned your new life, down to the barbecues and block parties you’ll have with your awesome new neighbors. Sweet!
Slow down there, dear buyer. As you know, you still have one giant hurdle to overcome: You’ve got to make the offer that wins the house. And in a highly competitive housing market, that can be easier said than done. Don’t blow your chances with any of these common home offer mistakes.
Dragging your feet
If you love a property, the worst thing you can do is wait to make an offer. Of course, you’re allowed to have some feelings of uncertainty—after all, this is likely the biggest financial decision of your life. But the longer you vacillate, the greater the chances you’ll set yourself up for failure.
“Time kills deals,” says Andrew Sandholm of BOND New York Properties, in New York City. “Dragging your feet means you could wind up paying more in a bidding war situation or missing out on the property all together.”
Not only should you be emotionally ready to pounce, but be logistically ready as well. That means pulling together all of your paperwork—bank statements, pre-approval letter, and any documents supporting proof of funds—while you’re house hunting.
“Get everything ready so we can act fast when we find a home you love,” Sandholm says.
Offering your max pre-approved amount
Today’s sellers are often besieged by multiple suitors, and the successful buyer will be one who’s prepared for a bidding war. The best way to arm yourself for battle is to make sure you’ve got a strong financial arsenal. That means getting pre-approved (do this now, if you haven’t already) to show a seller you’re financially prepared to buy a home—their home.
But when you make an offer, beware of submitting a price that exactly matches the amount you were pre-approved for, says Chuck Silverston, principal at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Brookline, MA.
“Many buyers come in with a pre-approval for the exact offer price, but when you’re competing against other offers, including cash offers, you want to show financial strength,” he says. “An exact pre-approval could make a listing agent nervous because not only does the buyer not have any wiggle room to negotiate, but they might no longer qualify if interest rates rise.”
“In this market I often advise buyers to look at homes under their max loan amount,” echoes Denise Supplee, a Realtor® with Long and Foster Real Estate in Doylestown, PA. “When you have to bid against multiple offers, they will need some room to go up, and if they are at their maximum amount, that may not happen.”
Using an obscure lender
Also consider using a well-known local mortgage lender or bank, suggests Realtor Megan Tolland, with Realty Executives Boston, who often sees online pre-approvals from out-of-state lenders or unknown online entities.
“Agents, and therefore sellers, are generally more comfortable with a local lender they know,” she says.
Trust your agent and bid accordingly—even if it means offering a little more than you think you could get away with. If you lowball the seller in the hope that it’ll spark a negotiation, it could backfire—especially in a seller’s market.
“A lowball offer that isn’t backed up with math or comparable sales data is disrespectful and could turn off the seller and possibly mean you will miss out on the property completely,” Sandholm says.
Waiving the inspection contingency
“I don’t care whether it’s new construction or even your mom’s house you’re buying from her—get it inspected,” says Joshua Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty in Duluth, GA.
An inspection is the only way to uncover potential flaws that could cost major cash to fix. And if you waive the inspection contingency in your offer, you stand to lose your earnest money if you back out.
Letting outsiders sway your offer
When you’re buying a home, you probably want a second opinion. And probably a third, fourth, and maybe even 10th. We totally get it. But beware of letting these people—who mean well but haven’t seen the many, many other homes you’ve seen—influence your offer.
“The ‘adviser’ does what they think is best and tries to protect the buyer and usually slams the home,” Jarvis says. “Unfortunately, they don’t have the education in seeing the other 10 homes or understanding the market.”
If you’re going to rely on outside advice, Jarvis says, then ask that the person accompany you through as much of the process as possible.
Not selling yourself
Wait, isn’t it the seller who, you know, does the selling? It might not sound quite fair, but in a seller’s market, you want to make sure you—the buyer—look as good to the seller as that picture-perfect house looks to you, Silverston says.
And it’s not just about looking good on paper. In fact, Silverston says, the offer process begins the moment the buyer steps through the door at the open house or showing.
“In today’s highly competitive environment, the listing agent is trying to determine which buyer will be the easiest to deal with,” he says.
That’s why buyers should avoid pointing out defects, asking a lot of nitpicky questions, or even insulting the owner’s taste by discussing changes they want to make.
“Basically buyers who act less than enthusiastic will see themselves at a competitive disadvantage when sellers are comparing multiple offers,” he says.
And, don’t forget to help seal the deal with a love letter—a personal touch could be enough to boost you to the top in the seller’s mind.
About Chuck Silverston
Chuck has been a top agent for over ten years and even earned the designation by Trendgraphix as the number one buyer’s agent in Brookline. Chuck is a Principal at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty. He has owned the Paris Creperie Cafe for over 15 years and has lived in Brookline for 20 years. Chuck has one daughter, Lilli, that attends Brookline High School. He served as co-chair of the Pierce School PTO from 2010-2012 and currently serves on the Board of the Brookline Education Foundation.
See the original article on realtor.com.
Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to present “Global Affluence: The Emerging Luxury Consumer”, a report examining the confidence, spending habits and purchasing interests of emerging luxury consumers from around the world, who are defined as those with $250,000 USD to $1 million USD in investable assets.
Key findings from the report include:
- 85% of emerging luxury consumers are confident in the housing market in their respective countries and are ready to purchase a home within the next three years.
- 93% of emerging luxury consumers are looking to purchase homes with luxury components.
- Emerging luxury consumers are interested in waterfront, metropolitan and historic homes.
Join us Thursday, April 6th, for the Jamaica Plain First Thursday Art Walk from 6-8pm! Work from our featured artist, Petr Metlicka, will line the walls while we mingle and snack. Stop by and meet the artist!
When: May 4th, 6-8pm
Where: 673 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain
What: Art, Refreshments and Fun!
Petr Metlicka was born in Prague, Czech Republic; now living and creating in Boston. Learn more about Petr at metlicka.zenfolio.com
With an emphasis on brand exclusivity, cutting-edge advertising technologies, strategic positioning, social traffic drivers and video content integration, the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand utilizes hand-selected media powerhouses whose innovation, experience and international impact allow our brand to successfully connect with a global consumer. Check out our global media video below.
Why aren’t you selling your home with us yet? Reach out today! This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we can offer you when it comes to marketing your property.
Located near a path in the Back Bay Fens is a 17th century Japanese Buddhist temple bell. Cast in 1675 the 450-pound bell rang for centuries in religious ceremonies at the Manpuku-ji temple in Sendai, Japan. The bell was original dedicated to Bishamon, a Buddhist god of children and good luck.
During WWII the Japanese government pressured its citizens to donate metals to be smelted down and turned into artillery, including all temple bells. Japan lost 95% of all their temple bells as a result. During the American invasion of Japan, Navy soldiers found over 500 bells waiting to be turned into weapons of war. Sailors from the USS Boston (CA-69) salvaged the bell and presented it to the city of Boston in 1946. In 1953, Kyukichi Anzai, Representative of the Believers’ Committee of Manpukuji Temple, Sendai (Japan), formally donated the bell to Boston to create a cultural bridge between the citizens of Boston and the citizens of Sendai as a link for the attainment of peace in the world. In 1993, the bell was restored through funding from the Japan Foundation and can be seen today in the War Memorial area of the Fens.
Exclusive Listing – Washington Street, Jamaica Plain
$3,200/month, Available Now
Appealing amenities abound in this three bed, two and a half bath Jamaica Plain rental. This available duplex apartment totals over 1800 square feet of new construction living space, a contemporary and spacious abode in JP’s exemplary community. The interior space includes an open floor plan kitchen, living, and dining room, thoughtfully designed. Central air, in-unit laundry, and basement storage are further perks. Outdoor space includes a back deck for relaxing or entertaining and one off-street parking spot is included in the rent. There is easy access to the T and bus lines for a streamlined commute to Downtown Boston and other areas. Close to stores, restaurants, and green space.
To learn more, contact our rental department at:
617.264.7900 (Brookline), 617.522.2200 (JP), or 617.332.1400 (Newton)
or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us Thursday, April 6th, for the Jamaica Plain First Thursday Art Walk from 6-8pm! Work from our featured artist, Tammy Ricker, will line the walls while we mingle and snack. Stop by and meet the artist!
When: April 6th, 6-8pm
Where: 673 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain
What: Art, Refreshments and Fun!
About Tammy Ricker
Painting for me is a way to explore my inner world of feelings, consciousness and reason. Working intuitively with color and line I work the surface, sometimes applying many layers, letting each painting assert itself. Inspired by everything related to nature, sometimes shapes appear that remind me of fragments of the world around us, leaves, flowers, water, sky, buildings, even people. For me this represents the quest for balance between the inner and outer worlds. The underlying focus that ties it all together is an interest in connections – connections to ourselves, to each other and to the world as a whole. My paintings are a deeply personal and intuitive expression of the times we live in and it is my hope that they will continue to evolve from a deeper place that will evoke a state of reflection through which the viewer is transported momentarily and returns enriched.
After studying painting and sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston I lived and worked for many years in Jamaica Plain. My studio is now located in a beautiful coastal town in southern Maine. Also, an avid Instagrammer, you can see more of my daily practice here: @tjr111
83 Dartmouth Street, Unit 1 – South End, Boston
Offered at $1,099,900
Unbeatable location on the South End/Back Bay border, at the corner of Dartmouth Street and Columbus Avenue is this spacious 2 bedroom condo with 2 full baths, 1,205 square feet with a private, fenced-patio in a brick Victorian era row house. The unit provides separation between the master bedroom/ensuite bathroom and the living area. Open kitchen and living room concept with a breakfast bar and dining room area. Entertain and enjoy your summers out on the patio area with your BBQ grill. In-unit laundry. Central Air Conditioning. Great storage space. City living at its best! Only a short walk to the Prudential Center, Back Bay Station, restaurant row in the South End, Boylston and Newbury Streets. Easy access to the Mass Pike and 93, Logan airport is 15 minutes away. Pet friendly. Would make a great long term investment to add to your portfolio.
Listing Agent: Jon Ufland, 617.901.9977, email@example.com
100 Westchester Road – Jamaica Plain
Offered at $799,000
Perched on a terraced lot in the Moss Hill neighborhood of JP, this classic American foursquare colonial offers all the comforts of home. A charming entryway opens into an expansive living room, sun-filled by day & fire-warmed by night. The eat-in country kitchen radiates w/ the warmth quintessential to the heart of the home. A formal dining room, off the kitchen, has a built-in china cabinet. French doors adjoin a window wrapped den w/ a skylit vaulted ceiling. Off the living room, a library opens into a tree covered private patio and into lovely, gardeners dream of a backyard. The 2nd floor has 4 bedrooms including a large master bedroom and a full tiled bath. In addition, there is an unfinished, walk-up attic, as well as a partially finished basement w/ a half bath that leaves plenty of room for expansion & for your finishing touches. The proximity to the Arboretum, the VFW Pkwy, and the Jamaicaway make both nature and urban convenience equally accessible.
Listing Agent: The BJ Ray Team, 857.288.8980, firstname.lastname@example.org