You have finally found the perfect home in Northern VA! The price is right, and in competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a good offer!
Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective. Below are the 4 tips with Northern VA market specific details I have included:
1. Understand How Much You Can Afford “While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”
Financing must actually take place before you start your home search process, it is the first step to buying a home. Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying. Most sellers will not even consider an offer until they receive proof of financial ability to actually purchase is provided. This will also give you the confidence you can meet the monthly payment obligation. Also be prepared to make any repairs to the house that you are not able to negotiate. (ex: new roof, new furnace).
2. Act Fast
“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.”
According to RealEstate Business Intelligence , the inventory of homes for sale in Northern VA is currently at a 2.3-month supply; this is well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale in NOVA, causing buyers to compete with each other for homes.
Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent, Call Joey, to present it as soon as possible.
3. Make a Solid Offer
Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:
“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.”
Talk with your agent, Call Joey, to find out if there are any ways that you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market!
4. Be Ready to Negotiate
“It’s likely that you’ll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you’ll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.
Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”
In some sought after neighborhoods in Northern VA homes are receiving multiple offers. Even if you offer full price, further negotiations may be required. If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller, or cancel the contract.
Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, having a local professional on your side who is an expert in the Northern VA market is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly.