Right now, the real estate industry is experiencing a very strong seller's market. Limited inventory has seen many properties sell for more than the listing price, driving home prices up and creating an extremely competitive market for buyers. If you are currently looking for a home in New Jersey, you need to be prepared to act quickly. It should go without saying that working closely with an experienced NJ real estate professional is crucial right now. There are a few things you and your real estate agent can do to improve your chances at successfully buying a NJ home in a seller's market. Our tips below are gleaned from the close relationships we have with some of the top real estate agents in New Jersey.
1. Make Your First Offer Your Best Offer
In today's seller's market, multiple offers for one home can happen within hours of each other. Hence, it is important to make your first offer with the assumption that you are competing against multiple offers from other buyers. With this in mind, there are a few ways to make your offer more enticing:
Price: In a seller's market, you NEVER offer less than the list price. In fact, you may consider offering more than the asking price so your offer stands out. Even so, you should never offer more than you can afford.
Deposit: The amount of money you submit up front with your offer can show a seller you are serious and have the funding to purchase their home. Putting more money down in the beginning can make your offer look more attractive than a minimum down payment.
Don't ask for concessions: In a competitive market, you want to make an offer that puts little strain on the seller. Leave out the requests for cosmetic fixes or appliances, or help with closing costs.
Submit your pre-approval letter with your offer: This is a good rule of thumb in any market, but is essential for a seller's market. If you have not received your pre-approval letter yet, ask your mortgage lender for proof that you've been approved.
2. Get Insider Info When Possible
Ask your agent to contact the listing agent with the goal of learning exactly what kind of offer the seller is looking for. This can remove some guesswork as well as save the listing agent time fielding bids that don't meet the seller's expectations. If you know what the seller is looking for from the beginning, you have a better chance of having your first offer accepted.
3. See a Home You Like? MOVE QUICKLY.
It may seem difficult to schedule home viewings during the busy work week, but in a competitive market, the home you are interested in may very well be under contract if you wait until the weekend. Try to see homes you are curious about as soon as you can. Similarly, don't wait too long after seeing a home to make an offer. In this market, ANY delays will almost certainly lead to another buyer swooping in and making an offer.
In today's market, an experienced and efficient real estate agent is a necessity. If you'd like a referral to a great New Jersey agent that we recommend, give us a call or drop us an email any time! We have a strong professional network and we are happy to help you find the right agent near you.