A few months ago, the Portland real estate market was thriving. And in fact, it still is. Properties are closing every single day. With the state of our city and state—not to mention our global community—everything feels a bit uncertain right now, and real estate is no different. One thing is certain, however: the greater Portland has been a hot market for years, and it will be in the future. We live a beautiful part of the world and people want to live here. That’s pretty straightforward.
Whether you’re looking to purchase a home soon—in the next few months—or if you’re thinking longer term, here are a few key strategies to optimize your chance of having your offer accepted by the seller:
- Get your financing in order. Know how much you are able to commit to a down payment. If you’re planning a little further out, you can begin by getting pre-qualified for a mortgage. A lender will assess your income, any assets, debt, and your credit score and provide you with a rough estimate of the amount you’ll qualify for. If you want to be ready to make an offer on a home in the near future, you’ll want to be pre-qualified for a home loan. (Note: some lenders use the terms “pre-approved” and pre-qualified” interchangeably, so make sure you know which you’re getting!) Pre-qualification typically involves providing verification (read: documentation) of your income, any assets, and any debt.
- Write a personal letter. Buying a home can be an emotional process, but so can selling a home. People become attached to their homes; they want to know that the next owner to live there will take good care. This is where the letter comes in: it’s your chance to tell the homeowner your story and why you are drawn to their home, and to assure the homeowner that you are the ideal next owner.
- Add an escalation clause. In a hot market, you’ll almost certainly compete against other offers. In this situation, it doesn’t make sense to lowball your offer—and it’s important to position your offer to be as competitive as possible. In a multiple offer situation, an escalation clause allows your offer to automatically be “upped” above a competing offer by a pre-determined dollar amount.
- Make a clean offer. I’ll say this first: it’s important to know what you’re buying—especially with a home purchase. But, making a “clean” offer—not asking for the seller to pay closing costs and limiting the conditions included in your offer—can go a long way in making your offer the most appealing to the seller.
- Be patient. You might be able to buy a car in an afternoon, but buying a home takes time—time to find the right house, time to have your offer accepted, and time to fully close the purchase of the home. Get your ducks in a row and be ready to move quickly—but also be ready to hurry up and wait.
With over a decade of experience and hundreds of home sales under my belt, I’ve learned a few tricks along the way. In fact, I’ve recently leveraged my experience to close two home sales—both with multiple offers—at under asking price! Want to know my secret? Give me a call! I promise this: when you have decided on the home you want, I’ll pull out all the stops to put the keys to the front door in your hand!