The first-time home buying market is tight! There are gems to be found but you’ll need to ACT FAST for a winning offer. Case in point.
I recently listed a single-family home for sale around the $200k price point. This house was an absolutely perfect first time home buyer opportunity. Curbside cute. Check. In good condition. Check. Nice yard. Check. It even had a little garage. Great, right?
The experience gave me and my sellers a unique vantage point. Not only could we compare and contrast the offers but we could compare and contrast HOW each offer was presented.
Let me tell you what I know.
First of all, we need first-time homebuyers. You know, the ones that don’t have all cash and may need a little help from Mom & Dad, or the Feds, aka, an FHA loan. We need them because our first time home buyers grow into sellers and 2nd-time home buyers and on and on. These buyers also live in their homes, unlike an investor. They take care of their homes while they are raising their families and leave them better and ready for the next generation of first time home buyers.
The pressure of investors who bring all cash to the most affordable echelon of home buying is putting a squeeze on a first time home buyer’s ability to get their foot in the market. This is a concerning trend but there are things we can do as buyer’s agents to boost our first time home buyer’s chances.
The first and arguably best thing a buyer’s agent can do for her buyer’s offer is to pay attention to the details!
MAKE SURE THE OFFER FORM IS COMPLETE. Check and check again that all information is filled out on the offer to purchase and contract. Make sure all names are spelled correctly, make sure you indicate buyers have been given the applicable disclosures, make sure there are no obvious errors or questions left unanswered.
MAKE SURE ALL SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTATION IS PRESENTED WITH OFFER. Disclosures, Addendums, letters, etc. And this get’s it’s own category…
SEND THE PRE-APPROVAL LETTER WITH OFFER!!!!! If an offer comes without a pre-approval it goes to the back of the line.
BRING YOUR HIGHEST AND BEST OFFER OUT OF THE GATE. Time is of the essence with these sales. Don’t waste the buyer’s or the seller’s time. Bring your best.
GO AS BIG AS YOU CAN ON DUE DILIGENCE In this market sellers should not have to wonder, let me rephrase won’t wonder if the sale is going to stick. Submitting an offer with a really low Due Diligence fee for a long Due Diligence period is not going to be competitive and sends a bad message.
DON’T ASK FOR SELLER PAID CLOSING COSTS With 30 offers to choose from the buyers who didn’t ask for seller paid closing costs were moved to the front of the pack.
Notice what I DIDN’T say? Not ONCE was raising the purchase price mentioned.
It really boils down to this: the buyer’s agent was clear, detail-oriented in her presentation of the offer, and left no detail for the seller’s agent to chase after.
At the end of the day; my sellers chose a buyer that was not an investor. The buyer loved the house and was planning to live there and be an asset to the neighborhood. And THAT makes the whole deal a win-win for everyone.