What Tips Should Every Buyer Follow in Today’s Market?

Here are six different ways to make your offer stronger in this market.

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One of the biggest challenges in today’s market is winning as a homebuyer. We’re in a deep seller’s market, and competition for homes is fierce. Here are six ways to help your offer win out against the competition:

1. Make your best offer first. Come out of the gate swinging with your highest and best offer. It shows you’re serious about buying the home. If you do use an escalation clause, know that the increments matter. The larger the increment, the more it speaks to the seller.

2. Higher price can mean a lower appraisal. Being willing to cover a possible appraisal gap between what the home is worth and what you buy it for will make the seller take notice of your offer.

3. Tighten up your inspection contingencies. This can be a dicey thing for a lot of people to consider. Buying a property in as-is condition doesn’t leave you without protection. You can still do inspections—it just means that you won’t ask for any repairs. You do, however, have the right to back out of the contract if something comes up that you're uncomfortable with. If you don’t want to waive the home inspection contingency, maybe you could waive the radon inspection.

"A larger earnest money deposit speaks volumes."

4. Consider post-occupancy terms with the seller. A lot of home sellers are worried about having time to find their new home. Offering to rent the home back to them to give them extra time can be a huge deal. Having flexibility here can be crucial.

5. Examine forgotten terms. These include things like offering a nonrefundable earnest money deposit. There are already protections in place here, so putting a larger chunk of money down won’t make the home more expensive and can make your offer stand out to the seller.

6. Offer to pay all the transfer taxes. In Maryland, it’s customary to split these taxes 50/50, but you can offer to pay all of them rather than pay more on the purchase price and risk appraisal issues. This could be anywhere from a few thousand up to $10,000.

If you have questions for us about these tips or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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