Help buyers and sellers navigate the market

by Tracey Boyd

Real estate experts are saying it’s a seller’s market, so homeowners will need as much help as possible from their real estate agents when faced with multiple offers on their property. Buyers will need assistance trying to navigate the market as well, according to Mary Chao of the Rochester, N.Y. Democrat & Chronicle.

“Both sellers and buyers can gain the upper hand by knowing how to navigate through the current market,” Chao wrote in “5 tips for handling multiple offers on a home.”

In the April 28 article, Chao included these five tips from Realtors Sheila Varnado and Bob Malone that agents can pass along to their clients.

1. Seller’s advantage. Current market conditions favor those who are selling their homes. As such, sellers may benefit from multiple offers by being able to get the highest price; the best closing and financing terms; and fewer contingencies, according to Varnado.

“Sellers are also able to retain backup offers for the property, in case any problems may arise with a mortgage or buyer’s remorse,” she said in the article.

2. Price it right. Even though the market favors sellers, pricing and condition are still important. “If a home is priced right and in good shape, it is often only hours before an offer comes in,” Malone said in the article.

3. Having financial ducks in row. Buyers should seek pre-qualification to show that they are in a good financial position to make the purchase. According to Varnado, “Being pre-qualified or pre-approved is insurance to the seller and makes your offer look stronger.”

4. Dollars and cents. Price is the deciding factor for most sellers, Malone said, and if a buyer really wants a home it may be in their best interest to make an offer higher than asking price. Also, according to Varnado, the type of financing the buyer has may impact multiple offers.

5. Assess the situation. Determine the seller’s motivation and then make the terms flexible to their needs. Varnado’s goal in representing a buyer is to make a strong offer for the property without overpaying.

“I will usually work up a couple of scenarios for my buyer to look at,” Varnado said in the article. “My buyer is also aware that a seller could counter-offer, especially if other terms meet their criteria.”