After an extensive search, you may have found the perfect home only to discover a bidding war is going to make the purchase difficult, if not impossible. A seasoned real estate expert can help level the playing field for you, and an attorney experienced with real estate matters can assist with any legal issues that arise. You can help yourself, however, by being prepared to do battle with competing house hunters and come out the victor.
Submit all your financing documentation to your lender before you begin looking at homes to buy. This way, you are ready to go into action when you find the home you want. Preapproval is the next step after becoming pre-qualified, which verifies your income and the amount a bank will lend to you. Once you are preapproved, you can submit the bank's letter stating that your application for a mortgage has been underwritten.
Include an escalation clause
When you are bidding against other potential home buyers, you can make your offer stronger by including an escalation clause. This states that you will increase the amount you are offering up to a certain limit if other buyers want to match or exceed your original offer.
Sellers are in charge when multiple bids are on the table. Make your offer clean and attractive by limiting the contingencies. For example, refrain from asking the sellers to repair certain items, and do not demand that they pay your closing costs. While there may be a legitimate reason for including a particular contingency item, avoid putting too many in your offer.
Write a letter
Consider writing a letter to the sellers, explaining your reasons for wanting to buy their house. The letter should be heartfelt but not too sugary. Your goal is to put in sincere language why you and your family consider this to be the perfect house. Real estate agents say that more and more buyers are writing personal letters to the sellers, and that this is sometimes what clinches the deal.
Seek legal advice
While the real estate agent you engage will be knowledgeable about negotiations and contracts, he or she will not be able to make judgments on issues pertaining to the law. What if there is a tenant you want to evict from the home you are considering? What if you are concerned about the language in the mortgage agreement? There are many questions that an attorney experienced in real estate matters can help you resolve when you are looking to buy the perfect home.