If you haven’t heard, the real estate market is very competitive right now since inventory is extremely low. When a new listing comes on the market, there are numerous house hunter’s almost instantaneously calling their realtor to get the first crack at viewing the property.
However, being first in line doesn’t always mean a buyer has the best opportunity to have an offer accepted. There are many things that come into play to help you gain an edge in having your offer accepted in a competitive market. I’ll focus on just a couple in this piece but would be happy to discuss more upon request.
First, having a great real estate agent makes a big difference. An agent who is well respected, knows our area (Prairie Village, Fairway, Roeland Park and Mission Hills), and who is known for getting things done is a huge advantage. A great agent knows contract detailing and strategies, has great lending partners, can recommend reputable home professionals (e.g., home inspectors, foundation experts- to name just a few), has excellent communication skills, and has your personal home search seemingly always in mind. These are just a handful of characteristics a great agent possesses. It’s these types of agents that are recognized by an agent listing a house for sale and can help you win the bid if the seller has multiple offers of similar price. Selling a house can be stressful so the more confidence there is in the buyer’s side the better.
Next, being pre-approved versus being just pre-qualified can make a world of difference. The average loan process takes about 30 days or slightly longer due to regulations. Being fully pre-approved provides sellers and listing agents great confidence when reviewing your offer, and a pre-approval identifies any potential pitfalls in the loan process. To get pre-approved, a buyer needs to supply a loan officer with a healthy amount of documentation (e.g., two years of tax documents, 60 days’ worth of banking activity, current income earnings, etc.). Being pre-approved saves time and can reduce the number of days needed for closing while strengthening the offer since sellers feel better about buyers who can close sooner than later. Don’t be afraid to request a complete pre-approval from your lender instead of just a pre-qualification. Pre-approvals take time, so some loan officers don’t do them, but those typically are the same ones to avoid.
We’re in a historically low-rate (lowest ever) environment, so it’s important that you have a great team working for you. If you’re entering into the market, need a real estate agent, or have pre-approval questions, give me a call. The more you know and the better prepared you are, the stronger positioned you’ll be in when buying a home.