Get a mortgage preapproval. In this fast moving market, it is critical to have a mortgage preapproval. This helps ensure we ready and able to take action on a new listing when the right property pops up. It doesn’t cost you anything, you can reserve an interest rate, and you can shop with confidence once your mortgage approval is in place.
“The early bird catches the worm”…or in this case the early buyer wins the home. You and your agent should be ready to act quickly. This means having an active automatic property search, which will notify you up to 24 hours before new listings are accessible on public websites like REALTOR.ca. Don’t wait for next day showings! It might be sold within hours!
Many agents are starting to withhold offers on new listings. This means that they will not consider any offers for a specific period of time, such as week. This allows more buyers to see the home and helps them to generate multiple offers and sell for more money.
If you are lucky enough to be the first to submit an offer on a home, you want to come to an accepted offer as fast as possible. If you try to submit a low price with the hopes of negotiating a good deal, it will take more time to come to an accepted offer. The longer the negotiating process goes on for, the more opportunity there is for other buyers to see the home and submit an offer of their own. It is often better to offer full asking price immediately, then to wait and have a multiple offer situation and you have to offer more than asking price. You are also way more likely to be able to include conditions on your offer if you offer quickly and at full asking price.
Be prepared to have more than one buyer competing for the same home. This changes our negotiating strategy… Most times we don’t have the opportunity to offer a lower price and expect to negotiate something lower than asking. In a multiple offer situation, you have ONE chance to have your offer accepted. Each buyer submits their best offer and the seller will accept the best one. This is done like a closed envelope bid…where all the buyers KNOW they are competing for the house, but they DON’T KNOW what each other is offering.
In an effort for their offer to be more attractive to other competing offers, buyers sometimes will submit an offer without any conditions. For example, no inspection or financing condition. This makes the offer look way more attractive, but it ads extra risk to the buyer
An inspection is normally performed to help discover any defects with the home. This way you hopefully don’t have any big expensive surprises with the condition of the home. Without an inspection there is a great chance of something going unnoticed until after closing and you may have some repairs/maintenance to perform.
Some buyers even skip the financing condition. This would be because they have sufficiently high confidence that they have the cash or mortgage approval, to submit an offer without financing condition. Having a strong mortgage preapproval helps greatly. A preapproval does not guarantee a final mortgage approval however and it leaves you with the risk of not being able to secure financing before closing. One of the biggest risks is in a scenario where you have had to offer a purchase amount much greater than what other similar homes have sold for. If the bank performs an appraisal and they deem that the purchase price is higher than the appraised value of the house, then they will not grant a mortgage for the full amount. You would be responsible to come up with the remaining money from your own source of funds. For example if you purchase a home for $450,000 but the bank appraises the home at $420,000, then you would be responsible to come up with the remaining $30,000 from other sources.
If time permits, such as a scenario where the listing agent is withholding offers, then it might make sense to perform a pre-inspection of the home. This is like any other home inspection, but you get it done BEFORE you submit your offer. YES this means paying a home inspector on a home you don’t know you will win, but having no inspection condition might be exactly what you need to set your offer above other competing offers.