It has slowly become obvious to many of us in the real estate industry that the real estate market in the Triangle has been moving toward a “Seller’s Market”, particularly in locations where the inventory of homes on the market is limited, at lower price points and for homes that are in high demand (such as ranch style and homes with a downstairs Master Bedroom). In fact, I would say that because of the still low inventory, just about any home that is aggressively priced is bound these days to receive multiple offers. In fact, my advice to sellers is to always price slightly under market value for this very reason, because multiple offers generally will get sellers the highest price, often above list price!

However, multiple offers can and usually are very stressful for buyers! I have recently been involved in several multiple offer situations, and thought it would be helpful to offer my observations and advice. Sometime my buyers are successful in getting the home they desired, while others are sometimes sadly disappointed when perhaps their dream home was lost to another buyer’s better offer.

Often the difference is the buyer’s understanding and acceptance of the market, being prepared to act quickly and then not choosing to “low ball”, especially if they are seriously interested in that home (and especially if it is fresh on the market!).

Making a strong bid from the start and having the necessary financial paperwork in order with the fewest contingencies possible will vastly increase your chances of succeeding in a multiple offer situation.  I advise my clients to be as flexible as possible with the seller’s requests, don’t procrastinate, make a fair offer that fits comfortably within their budget, and stay positive…but best to have a backup plan. It’s never a good idea to get so involved in trying to win a bidding war that you move beyond a price point you wanted to avoid.

Prospective buyers have sometimes asked me whether writing a personal note to a seller, expressing how much they love the seller’s home, is a useful exercise.  My answer is: Generally not, unless the seller has an emotional connection to the home.  But if time allows, a personal note to the seller of a well maintained home can’t hurt.  It just might give you an edge by demonstrating your seriousness about buying this particular home and planning to provide the same level of love and care that it has been given over the years by the seller.

While I always do everything I can to offer you helpful advice, guidance and even emotional support throughout the negotiating process, it is important that you remain focused on your ultimate goal: buying a home that meets your needs and stays within your budget!

About the author

Sharyn Fuller

Born and raised in New York City, I have also lived in Florida, California, Connecticut, but since 1992 have been a proud southerner - and always will be!

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