Los Angeles, like many other U.S. housing markets, has been pretty competitive for buyers, particularly for certain housing types and in certain micro-markets. That said, it’s still possible to “win” when you are not the only buyer making an offer (aka a bidding war)!
Here are 5 things to consider when making your next offer in a multiple offer situation:
- Price. Obviously the overall price is a factor and the highest offering prices will be given significant weight, but you don’t want to feel uncomfortable with what you’ve paid either. Make your offer depending on the comparable housing sales, how much you want the home, your financial circumstances, and in particular– how much the home is worth to you.
- Financing. If you are not paying all cash, but instead will be getting a loan (as is the case for most buyers), your financing should be locked into place before you even begin looking at homes, but definitely before you submit an offer. In particular, you should check with your lender on how long it will take him or her to close the deal (all lenders are NOT alike) and if there is anything you can submit to the lender ahead of time to expedite the process.
- Terms. Price and all cash are not the only factors that determine which offer gets accepted. I have had many of my buyers’ offers accepted when they in fact were not the highest price, but because other terms of our offer were more enticing to the seller, which brings me to point 4.
- Be Flexible/Know what the Seller Wants. Does the seller want a quick close because they are moving out of state to take a new job? Or does the seller need a few extra weeks to find a new home? If possible, knowing the seller’s motivation will help to craft a more appealing offer.
- Your Agent. Speaking from personal experience representing sellers who have received multiple offers on homes I have listed for them, the listing agent/seller’s agent wants to work with an agent who is efficient, responsive and pleasant. There are definitely times when two very similar offers have been submitted and when my seller asks me for counsel on which to choose, and all other things being equal, there is a definite front runner based on who I think will be better to work with.
Best of luck on getting your next offer accepted and getting into your new home!