buying your first home seller’s market
When I see buyers winning the offer in today’s housing market in Sacramento, it’s generally because they have done one simple thing. And I often share this one simple thing with their buyer’s agent when they call to ask if I have any offers. It’s as though they don’t want to write an offer until I do have an offer. Every buyer’s agent pretty much is trying to get “a deal” for their buyers when they should be worried about getting their buyer into escrow, period. It’s hard right now to buy a home in Sacramento. Don’t make it any harder than it needs to be.
I’ve noticed an attitude with my sellers that seems to repeat itself. So I share this discovery with my sellers, and even when I tell them what’s going to happen and why, they are still surprised when it happens. I can accurately predict it because lately I see the same thing happen over and over. This is when a home goes on the market on Friday. The buyer notices we have an open house scheduled for Sunday and quite rightly begins to worry about the winning the offer. The buyer’s focus, though, tends to be on how can we buy the home right now, this very minute, rather than what can we do to ensure we are winning the offer.
Because a buyer probably cannot buy the home right now, this very minute. There is no guarantee the seller won’t take the offer, but when the seller has hired an experienced listing agent like me, for example, I will suggest the seller wait until the open house. The seller is free to disregard my advice, but that doesn’t happen very often. Agents who take fiduciary seriously will want to expose the home to the largest pool of buyers possible, which tends to ensure the highest price for the seller.
However, the one thing home buyers can do to maximize chances of winning the offer is to write the offer the minute they know they want to buy the house. It could be while they are walking up the steps to open the door. It could happen when they enter the back yard or when they get back home. But the second they know they want to buy the house, write the offer. Be the first offer. You don’t have to be the strongest offer if you are the first offer. Because the first offer is the offer the seller will think about all day on Friday, all day on Saturday and all day on Sunday.
Why? Because all of the other buyers will wait until after the open house to submit an offer. They wait because they are concerned the listing agent will “shop the offer.” Well, a good listing agent is shopping the offer when all of the offers are compared to each other after the open house. Doesn’t matter if it happens before or after. Further, there will be last-minute buyers who called their agent brother-in-law in another city to write an offer after the open house, and those offers will be sloppy, impersonal. Yes, the first offer price might be countered to be more in line with the other offers. But the first offer has the edge. Think about it, is all I’m saying. Don’t be afraid to be the first offer.