Inventory continues to shrink in dozens of metro markets all around the country, creating a headache for buyers who are ready to jump into the market but can’t find the right place. In some cases, these buyers are turning to new construction as an alternative.
How do you keep buyers in the game when demand is outpacing supply? Here are some key steps:
Encourage Them to Get Pre-approved
For starters, get your buyers pre-approved before looking at houses. This is crucial, perhaps more than ever, because of the tight time frames homes are selling in. Encourage buyers to gather documentation they’ll need to submit for a pre-approval, and connect them with a trusted lender in your area to move the process in the right direction. And then—only after this key step is completed—start looking at properties.
Don’t Waste Any Time
If you or your buyers find a home that fits their needs today, you’ll want to get them in for a showing within 24 to 48 hours. Waiting until the weekend to look at a home they really like is not a good idea; the home could be sold by then. Similarly, if your clients see a home they love and want to write an offer, be ready to do so on the spot.
Write Strong Offers
Some buyers think they can still get away with making lowball offers and asking for the washer, dryer and a carpet allowance. With the return of bidding wars and multiple offers, buyers must be ready to present their highest and best offer, and they should ask for minimal concessions. If your buyers can afford to put down more earnest money and a larger down payment, they increase their odds of beating out the competition.
Keep Expectations Realistic
If your buyers are bound to a restrictive price range, don’t let them fall into the trap of reaching beyond their means, no matter how much they’d like to get into a home. Keep their expectations realistic, and advise them to walk away if the transaction simply doesn’t work for them. They’ll thank you for it.
Save the Listing Agent’s Time
Listing agents are busy and under the gun to get homes sold. Be the best agent they’ve ever worked with by submitting an offer package complete with a pre-approval letter, a strong, well-written offer and any other supporting documentation that could help your buyers make an impression. Be concise, thorough and responsive, and your efforts could put your clients at the front of the pack if all other things are equal. When it comes down to it, your buyers may still have a tough time finding their dream home in a low-inventory market. New construction is a great alternative; cultivate relationships with local builders and preview some of the up-and-coming projects to familiarize yourself with what’s there. Builders will pay you a commission for bringing a buyer, making this equally beneficial for you and your clients.
Whether it’s a traditional resale or a new home, your knowledge, market expertise and proactive approach can deliver exactly what your clients are looking for—even in a seller’s market. Above all, stay positive and encourage your buyers not to give up.