By Drew Heasley
Most markets are facing inventory shortages this time of year. There are simply too many buyers and not enough homes for sale. This requires buyer’s agents to get creative and aggressive in order to help their clients get the home they want. There are a lot of ways to get this done while retaining your professionalism.
The easiest place to start is with your buyer’s consultation. Make sure your buyers understand the process, costs, deadlines, contract, etc. Even people who have bought and sold before will need a refreshers. Absolutely make sure they have spoken to a lender and obtained a pre-approval. If they have a home to sell, it must be under contract and preferably past the inspection if they plan on making offers on houses that are selling fast.
Next, you could start the research phase. Have your buyers narrow down their search to a particular town, school district, neighborhood, etc. In a seller’s market it’s important to stay focused on your target area. You and your buyers should know all the prices of homes that have sold there and how quickly they sold. Network with other agents who are selling the homes in your target area—this might help give your buyers a head start by finding a home before it hits the market.
Once you find your clients’ dream home, you need to determine your approach. If the home just hit the market and it is priced correctly, you and your buyers will need to be aggressive. Find ways to set yourself apart from the other buyers. If the listing agent is doing an open house, absolutely go and introduce yourselves, bring the whole family. Tell the listing agent how much you love the house and the area, and ask questions. The listing agent may give you extra information you can use later. If you can make a personal connection with the listing agent, they may lobby on your seller’s behalf. When the listing agent knows you have a serious buyer, you’re more likely to make it to closing.
You can also try and make you buyers’ offer stand out. Some examples would be a large escrow deposit, a quick inspection and close, waiving contingencies, or going with the closing date the seller requested. Send the paperwork together, organized and properly filled out, which will make the listing agent’s life easier. With prices escalating, sometimes appraisals can become an issue. Make sure you can structure a deal that will actually appraise and work for both parties. Stay in constant contact with the listing agent.
These are just a small set of tips that could help give you an edge over the other agents. Buyer’s agents are sharper than ever and technology has helped buyers become well educated. So, it’s important to remind your buyers before you start the home search that even if you write the most generous offer possible, it still might not be enough. Some buyers just have more cash or better financing, or are willing to take bigger risks. Not overpaying for a house is still be considered a win in my book.
Drew Heasley is an agent with Keller Williams Exton/West Chester in Pennsylvania. Connect with him on Facebook: facebook.com/chestercountyrealtor, or through his website: searchchestercountyhomes.com.