Our area is currently experiencing a seller’s market which means there are more buyers than properties for sale. This has led to many multiple offer situations where several buyers are competing for the same property. It is a situation that causes a lot of frustration. What can you do to make your offer more attractive to a seller?
“In a seller’s market, home prices are a bit higher and inventory is lower,” said Brittany Matott, President of the St. Lawrence County Board of REALTORS®. “This means you are more likely competing with multiple bidders. In a competitive market like this, buyers need every advantage they can get, and working with a REALTOR® to make the best purchase offer is a smart move.” And, believe it or not, the bid with the highest price is not always the one that wins.
“Of course, sellers want to get the best price for their home, but that isn’t always the only deciding factor,” said Britt Abbey, Jefferson-Lewis Board of REALTORS® president. “Terms are equally as important, and eliminating or reducing contingencies, through things like pre-offer inspections can also help make your offer stronger. The bid that offers the least risk for the seller is often the one that wins.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should just submit a below market offer with no contingencies.
“This is not the time to make a lowball offer,” Ms. Matott pointed out. “When you are going up against more than one potential buyer, it’s the time to put your best foot forward. This might be your one chance to convince the owner to sell their home to you, so it’s all the more important to submit your best possible purchase offer.”
If you can pay cash for the home, chances are better that your bid will be accepted. Sellers appreciate all-cash offers as they usually mean a quick, streamlined purchase. Financing issues, such as delays in mortgage approval or getting funds moved from the buyer’s bank account, are the primary causes of delays in the closing process. If a seller can avoid a lengthy or complicated process by choosing an all-cash buyer they likely will.
For most people, however, a cash offer isn’t a possibility, and you’ll need to qualify for some variety of mortgage financing. If this is your situation, Mr. Abbey recommends getting preapproved for a mortgage before you begin the search process. “With loan preapproval, you’ll be able to make a solid commitment to buy, and your offer will be more appealing to the seller,” he said.
Of course, the most important thing that you can do to give yourself an advantage is to hire a REALTOR®.
“REALTORS® have real insights and unparalleled knowledge of your local market and can help you navigate the complicated home buying process,” added Mr. Abbey.
Since 2018, the St. Lawrence County Board of REALTORS®, in partnership with the Northern New York Community Foundation, have awarded scholarships to high school seniors graduating from St. Lawrence County school districts. The criteria includes a desire to continue on with education leading to a career a career in the real estate industry like appraiser, real estate agent, surveyor, or attorney or continuing their education in a business field. The money for the scholarships is donated by real estate professionals and others who want to support students going to the next level.
There are two types of scholarships given out. The first, the community scholarship, is offered to one graduating senior in each St. Lawrence County district. In 2021, three scholarships were awarded to students who will be majoring in business. The winners were Emma Rutley, Potsdam Central School, Molly Witkop, Massena Central School, and Hayden Perkins, St. Lawrence Central School.
The other set of scholarships were given to children or grandchildren of St. Lawrence County Board of REALTORS® members and who are graduating from a St. Lawrence County High School. Scholarships were awarded to Stuart Ayers, Parishville-Hopkinton Central School, Cynthia Stone, Lisbon Central School, and Morgan Trego, Massena Central School.
“We are proud to support these graduating seniors as they go on in their academic career,” said Ms. Matott. “Our members look forward to seeing what each accomplishes in the future.”