With inventory low right now, Rhode Island’s single-family residential market is a seller’s one. But while buyers may get discouraged by the increased competition and offers, don’t lose hope. Here are five things that can help put the ball back in your court.
- Stick to your budget. With more people competing for fewer properties, sellers can often command their asking prices – or even more. Rather than look at properties slightly out of your price range in the hopes you can negotiate a good deal, try to stay within set limits when shopping so you don’t risk getting caught up in a bidding war that blows your budget.
- Get preapproved. Once the seller accepts a buyer’s offer, they’ll want to make sure the deal will close, and preapproval will help reassure that will happen. So a good step to take before even embarking on a property search is to get preapproved for a mortgage, working with a lender that will review your tax information and verify your income up front. That way, you can demonstrate to the seller when you submit your offer that you’ve been working seriously with a lender to get a loan and can afford to buy their home.
- Work with a seasoned realtor. Be sure to find an agent who knows the market well and is familiar with recent sales and activity on homes that fit your target search profile. You’ll also want the agent to think outside the box. That way, he or she can advise you on just what you need to do to put your best offer forward (like including a letter) and make it stand out. And make sure the agent has experience in multiple offer situations so you know he or she is prepared to guide you on next steps if you find yourself in one – even if that means walking away.
- Stay unemotional. Fewer available properties and more competition means your search may take longer than anticipated. If you don’t want to wait, you may need to revisit your “must have” list (e.g. location, age of the home, number of bedrooms and so on) and see where you can compromise so you can consider a broader range of properties that could work for your needs. By being open-minded, you may find that some quick – and inexpensive – changes can transform a fixer-upper into your next home.
- Be flexible. When listing a home, a seller may have certain wishes that aren’t always obvious in the property description, like wanting to close quickly, avoid repairs, or strike a cash deal. Depending on the seller’s situation, you may be able to structure your offer to give them what they want – so you get the property you want. An experienced agent will work to assess what will appeal to the sellers so you can put your offer in the best light.
If you’re thinking of buying now, let’s meet for coffee. Contact me at 401.499.7541.