If this is a buyer’s market why hasn’t your offer been accepted?

Everyone keeps talking about how this is a buyers’ market.  Sellers often feel that they are being beat up, especially over price.  But Tehachapi buyers complain that their offers are being rejected.  What drives this?

Inventories are high and prices are low so it really should be a buyers market, right?  Buyers’ offers are often being rejected because sellers really can’t lower their prices.  How many sellers are facing a situation where even if they don’t owe more than their home is worth, they may just be getting out with a break-even at the listed price.

Although there is lots of inventory, much of it is really not very attractive.  That is to say that there are an awful lot of “fixer-uppers” on the market now.  For traditional buyers, that presents the same problem it always has — you may be able to afford to buy the house, but you can’t afford to fix it up.  In many cases, even if you can afford both to buy and renovate the house, investors are outbidding and paying cash.  That’s pretty hard to compete with.

So what can buyers do to have a better shot at getting their offer accepted?

  • Get pre-approved and include the letter with your offer. This may seem really obvious, but you’d be surprised how many folks overlook it.  If you are lucky enough to pay cash, include proof of funds.
  • Use the right forms and sign all of the appropriate places in the offer. Again, this may seem obvious, but this is one of the primary areas where costly mistakes happen.  Skipping the Wood Destroying Pests addendum for example leaves huge questions as to whether the buyer or seller is paying for pest infestation related damages.  From the sellers’ perspective this could be a red flag of unexpected costs to come.  From the buyers’ perspective, it could leave you open to a huge repair expense if you really want the house.  This is just example of many similar issues.
  • Forget about the listed price. Base your offer on current comparable properties.  Just because a house is advertised at $200,000 doesn’t mean it’s worth $200,000.  If it’s only worth $175,000, then that’s what you should offer.
  • Offer a fast closing date. Most sellers are anxious to get the transaction over with and move on with their lives.  If you offer a fast closing date both you and the seller get to move sooner.
  • Include a summary page with your offer. By the time you complete all the documents necessary to make a purchase offer, you will have a stack of paper that’s somewhere between 12 and 25 pages.  It’s hard for a seller to wade through all those pages to see what the offer really is so they depend on their agent to distill the essential points.  Make it easier not to overlook the benefits of your offer by providing a summary of the price and terms on a single sheet.

If you follow these five tips, it should help to get your next offer accepted.  Interested in buying or selling real estate in the greater Tehachapi or Kern County area? I’d be happy to help.  Call me, Sally Lawrence, at 661.375.REAL or email me to discuss your needs.

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Thanks for reading!

Sally Lawrence

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