Real Estate buyers Buyers & Sellers home buying residential

Three Things to Consider When Negotiating a Home Offer During a Pandemic

By HomeSmart International Marketing Team on November 05, 2020

Despite the pandemic, many people have been able to find a home they love! When it’s time to make an offer, though, there may be a fair amount of uncertainty. You may be asking: “How do I negotiate an offer right now?” 

We’re here to help you navigate this step in your home buying process, and figure out how to get an offer on the table. Here are three tips you need to know in order to get from offer to closing during the pandemic.

1) Be Prepared to Bid Higher

The housing market remains a hot seller’s market. As of right now, record-low mortgage rates, a shortage of inventory, and a strong buyer demand has driven prices up. Prices and sales continue to surge month-over-month, breaking records.

This means you might need to be prepared to come in over listing price — especially if you and your agent think the house is already underpriced based on the comps. You’ll also want to offer high if the house was recently listed and there’s already a lot of interest in it. If you’re offering high, hold fast on contingencies.

2) Plan for a Longer Closing

Normally, when your offer is accepted, it’s a straight line to closing. Due to the coronavirus, there might be a bit of zigzagging, which means you’ll want to prepare for potential delays.

Due to the health and safety concerns of appraisers, home inspectors, and repair contractors, you may need to embrace a longer transaction process by setting the closing date out further than a standard 30 days. These services are adjusting guidelines and availability, which can slow the transaction. 

By anticipating a potential delay upfront and adding contingencies in the contract for the in-person viewing, you can have a little more peace of mind.

3) Ensure You Have a Mortgage Commitment

Make sure you have a mortgage commitment letter when you make the offer. Banks are issuing fewer loans in order to conserve cash to offset delinquencies. Many buyers make a mistake when they believe they’ve secured financing while their lender may have only conditionally approved the loan.

As long as you can qualify for the financing you are seeking to acquire, there shouldn’t be any issue with achieving a successful close. During this time, don’t be afraid to over-communicate. Make sure you touch base with your lender everyday or every other day.

At HomeSmart, we have the resources you need to have a smooth transition from offer to closing to move in. We equip our agents with the tools, technology, and partners necessary to give you the best home buying experience possible. Our agents are trained to provide you with accurate information and constant communication. Connect with a HomeSmart agent today to have a REALTOR® that’s got your back during the process of finding and buying your dream home.

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