Being a strong buyer by putting together a strong offer will generally ensure that you are buying at the best price in a buyer’s market and will give you the edge over your competition in a seller’s market. Here are five action steps you should take when starting to search for a new home:

  1. Get preapproved for a mortgage. With a pre-approval, you will be able to demonstrate your ability to buy the home.
  2. Use a lender that has a great reputation with buyers and the real estate community. Just as you’re showing you’re serious with a mortgage pre-approval, your lender’s reputation underscores that you mean business.
  3. Understand the seller’s motivation. Knowing if the seller needs or wants to get out of their home ASAP or, if they are ambivalent about it will help you determine how to best structure an offer as well as help your agent negotiate on your behalf.
  4. Have some flexibility. While price is often the most important piece of an offer, the seller is going to look at all of the terms of the sale including-closing date, down payment, earnest money, timing of your mortgage approval, inspection, attorney review, and more.
  5. Let the seller know you like their home and what you like about it. It is probably the same things they love!  Since selling (and buying!) a home is truly an emotional decision, communicating your love for a feature or two of the home is one of the best tools in your tool belt.  From my experience, it strengthens your position and has often “won” the home when there were multiple offers and has even helped us get the best price when not.

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