As an experienced real estate agent, I must confirm that I have seen people lose the house of their dreams because they hesitated just one day. Yes, just one measly day. I hate that this market demands that buyers make decisions so quickly, but it is my job to let you know what the market is actually like. The last thing I ever want to do is to rush any client. But I’ve also seen the disappointment that can result when someone misses out on a truly exceptional home. And, in almost any kind of market a well priced desirable home will move FAST.
So, you should be aware that even if you are not willing to act swiftly, your competition for the home may be. It’s pretty devastating to lose a great house because the offer did not get in fast enough, but it does happen – more often than you think. On the flip side, I have also had my clients win out because other buyers have hesitated and they did not. Accordingly, when the house is the right house, I do encourage my clients to act swiftly.
The following are five reasons why it may be important for you to write the offer today:
1) Avoiding a bidding war / Getting a better price.
Sometimes if you get an offer in quickly, you will be able to get it accepted quickly at a slightly lower price than if you waited and the situation became a bidding war. I’ve seen this often with REOs (foreclosures). I’ve won out on many desirable REOs because my client’s offer is the first offer, gets put into the computer portal that evening before the REO agent leaves the office that afternoon, and the next morning when they check their email, it is already accepted. Gone. My client is celebrating as the 10 other higher offers that poured in that evening and the next day are put aside.
2) They just did a price reduction.
When a seller does a price reduction it is highlighted for those searching for a home. In our area, an automatic email alert will be sent to buyers who are actively looking for that type of home, and the home will appear in the “hot sheet” search that most buyer’s agents run first thing every morning. Even a modest price reduction can dramatically increase the attention that a listing receives. If the price is now appealing, or you think the owner will now be receptive to your offer, get your offer in quickly before someone else has the same idea.
3) Your offer may deter other buyers.
Buyers dislike bidding wars, so many will shy away from a home with an offer already on it. In our current market, buyers are expecting bidding wars on REOs; however, on short sales or traditional sales, often the presence of another offer will still make buyers and their agents shy away. Accordingly, your early offer may keep others from even bidding. (Note this does not hold true for low ball offers, if you submit a low ball offer, the listing agent will simply tell other buyer’s agents that the offer they have in hand is low and it will not generally deter other buyers from bidding.)
4) Eager can be a good thing. Sometimes buyers don’t want to seem eager.
They don’t want to come off like they want the home too badly. However, while playing “hard to get” may be an effective strategy for some personal relationships, I don’t think it translates as well into the home buying arena. After all, most people don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for homes they are indifferent to, so if you write an offer today or write it tomorrow they are still going to assume that you want the home. Also an experienced listing agent will encourage a seller to take a solid offer from the most motivated buyer. Being the first to arrive conveys that you are motivated. Accordingly, writing the offer today on a well priced desirable home can indeed be a smart move.
5) Logistics matter.
An offer doesn’t magically appear in front of the seller. For an REO (foreclosure), waiting until Friday to submit an offer means that your offer probably has to withstand weekend buyer traffic and interest, because the asset managers that consider those offers often don’t often work weekends or holidays, or the REO listing agent may simply not input offers until Monday. In a sale where a “real” seller is responding, you can (and probably should) limit the time period that the offer can be considered to speed along getting an answer from the seller. However, how soon it will be presented or responded to will still be dependent on the situation. If you write the offer today, and I find out the listing agent is meeting with the seller in 30 minutes, I can send it right over. If the offer is not already signed and in my hand, I won’t be able to take advantage of that information. These minor details matter and, I believe sway in favor of being fast and first in many cases.