Buyers, Toughen Up!

     To all real estate buyers out there, this is tough times for you!  Gone are the days when you had no competition and the sellers tipped-toed around picky buyers for fear of scaring them off!  If you have tried to make an offer on a house in Spokane in the last 2 months then you know what I am talking about.  Several buyer agents in my office have been struggling with getting to a newly listed property before multiple other buyers have been there and written competing offers.  The pickings are so thin (low inventories) that making an offer on a home  is more like a piranha feeding frenzy than the slower paced process many are used to.  You really have to toughen up and be on your A game!

     Some suggestions: 1) Don’t wait to sell your house until you’ve found a replacement.  Sure that is a risk, but no seller in this market is willing to take a contingent offer when they have multiple offers without that contingency.  Find a rental or rent-back the home you have sold until you can negotiate for the new one successfully.  2) Be sure that you have been pre-approved by your lender and have that documentation readily available. 3) Don’t fill your offer with nit-picky contingencies that you can leave out.  Financing contingencies and home inspection contingencies are essential to the process, but care should be taken to make a clean offer. 4) Make your highest and best offer instead of betting that the seller will take an offer for less than you are willing to pay.

     Remember that the seller has all the power in this frenzied market!  Sellers are not obligated to take your offer or even consider it just because you looked first and your offer came in first.  That notion is a wives tale!  If a listing agent knows that other offers are coming in they may advise the seller to wait until multiple offers are on the table. They may call for “highest and best”, which means you better be ready to stretch to put your best offer forward.  This process often results in a bidding war which many tender buyers cannot stomach.  If you are one of those tender ones, either toughen up to play the game or be prepared to wait.