Don’t Let The “All Cash” Stories You Hear Discourage You!
The Walnut Creek Real Estate Market has been tight as of late. The same goes for the rest of the Contra Costa County; Lafayette, Concord, Pleasant Hill and so on. And right now? The inventory is low, meaning many have to compete for a home.
Compete For A Home
Buyer demand is still very strong, which drives prices up and makes it very difficult to compete for a home. We know it is beyond frustrating to have to be in a position where you are “competing,” for a home. That is the nature of the market right now. So many buyers are clamoring for only a few homes that are listed. Homes are also going into contract quickly. Before you know it a home you saw online is already in contract the next day!
What we want to share with you, is that with a well-thought out approach you can strongly compete for a home in a tough market. Contrary to popular belief, the highest-priced offer isn’t always the strongest offer. There are multiple elements to a purchase contract, and there are ways to make your offer attractive at the price you are willing to offer.
Knowing your financial situation and what you can go after is key. Talk to a lender and get yourselves preapproved at the beginning of the process so that you can move quickly when you want to submit an offer on a home. Consider this to be a foundation to helping you compete for a home.
2. Work With An Experienced Agent
This can be very important in purchasing a home. There are many elements to an experienced agent that can be used to your advantage. First of all, we have knowledge, and can help you determine if a home you want to go after is reasonably priced or not. We also possess the experience and skills to help you craft a competitive offer with your best interests and protection at heart. It is plus to have someone help you compete for a home, always on your side. We could keep writing on this subject (obviously), but for the sake of brevity continue reading below. 🙂
3. Get Educated (About the neighborhood)
Scope out the neighborhoods you are interested in. There are a few Walnut Creek neighborhoods that are extremely desirable. Learn more as to why! Also, this is where working with an experienced agent is huge. Once you are dialed in to the neighborhood(s) you are interested in, your search becomes more simplistic. As agents, we keep our clients consistently updated with new properties that come on the market as well as keep you updated on the sales that occur. This way you can become better informed on homes that are garnering multiple offers, higher asking prices, and how quick they go into contract. You are now more equipped to compete for a home!
4. Full 3% Initial Deposit
This is an aspect that helps keep your offer clean. If you offer less than the full, standard 3% deposit then your offer may get set aside or they will just counter back to get it. So if it is within your means, this is a good idea to help compete for a home.
5. Cash Vs. Financing
This will be discussed with your lender as you get preapproved, but it’s very important to have in mind the numbers that you are comfortable with. By numbers we mean the highest you are comfortable paying for a home, how much of a down payment you will put down, and if you will be paying with additional cash. A lot of conventional financing is 20% cash, and 80% financing. Obviously the higher percentage of cash, the more appealing your offer is to a home seller. In a competitive market, if a home doesn’t appraise a seller wants to know you are able to cover that differential with cash.
A lot of weight is put on how “all-cash” offers are the end all and those will “always” win. That isn’t really the case. Remember that to a home seller, they are still going to get paid regardless if it’s all cash or split with financing. This is why these tips we’re writing can help you be the more attractive buyer and strongly compete for a home.
6. Don’t Ask Seller to Pay for Fees You are Responsible for
There is a section on California Residential Purchase Contracts that a buyer can mark down what fees the buyer and seller are to cover. Typically there are “standards,” in certain areas so those are always good to follow. Just don’t expect to have the seller pay for all of the little various fees and such. Typically in Walnut Creek, a home seller will pay for the home warranty.
7. Show the seller you are flexible
This can be a situational element, but the more flexible you are, the better. With such a competitive market, we have been frequently seeing some home sellers needing a “rent-back.” What this means is that they are hunting for a replacement home, and with this market that may take some time. So if they are hoping for a longer close, or for a rent-back until they find a replacement home…your flexibility goes a long way when you need to compete for a home.
8. Timeframe to Close
To continue from the last point, some sellers prefer a quick close. This goes hand in hand with #1 above. The more prepared you are with your finances, you can likely offer a quicker closing time. Which hey, that means you get your new home faster!
These are some ways that you can make yourself more competitive in our current market. Walnut Creek has low inventory, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into that amazing home that would be perfect for your family. The idea is to be as educated as possible, and be fully prepared to move quickly. It also helps to have an experienced real estate agent on your side working as hard as they can for you!
Are you thinking of buying a home in Walnut Creek or the surrounding areas? Let’s have a conversation on how we can best help you achieve your goals. If you fill out the form below, Steve or Matt will get back to you promptly!
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