First off, congratulations on your decision to put an offer in on your dream house. With low interest rates and the ability to work from home, there’s never been a better time to have your spirit crushed in such a spectacular fashion.
Really. Who do you think you are? What’s your plan? Walk into this open house, make a competitive offer 50K over asking, with 20% down and exceptional credit, and get it? Idiot. What is this, like your second offer? Gimme a break. It’s a seller’s market. You want to be a homeowner in a town with a halfway decent school system and a Buffalo Wild Wings? Get in line.
Still here? Didn’t scare you away yet? Okay, fine. To successfully join the club of homeownership, something people could do two years ago at half the price and a quarter of the headache, here are some tips.
Your offer must be competitive. Do your research. See what the houses around your desired home sold for. Then add 75% to that number because up is down and down is up, and nothing makes sense here.
Cash is king. Or at least it was last year. If you want to be competitive now, gold bars are better.
Waive all contingencies. Why should the seller have to pay for their leaky roof and crumbling foundation? If you want that house bad enough, you, the buyer, should obviously pay. Come to think of it, you should pay double for even considering passing that cost onto the poor seller.
Buying a home is a huge decision. So before making your offer, sleep on it—but not all night. These days, most homes sell in less than 24 hours on the market. So maybe nap it over and put your offer in by midnight.
Personal touches never hurt. Write a letter to the seller letting them know how much you love their home so they can add it to the hundred other letters they’ve received from chumps like you.
And finally, it’s all about perspective. It’s not what a home is worth; it’s what that home is worth to you. You love your family, right? Just pony up and make a fiscally and logically irresponsible offer for that two-bedroom, 1.2 bath Tudor in the up-and-coming neighborhood already.
Odds are you won’t get it anyway.