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With spring market around the corner, real estate markets across North America are about to heat up. Buying a new home in a hot real estate market can be a challenge. With an abundance of listings come an abundance of buyers ready to get into their next home.

If you’re looking to buy in a competitive market, it’s important to take a look at different negotiation strategies to secure yourself the home you want, at a fair price, and stand out against the other home buyers also placing offers on the property of your dreams. Talk to your real estate agent and mortgage broker about what options are best for your goals.

Here are four things you can do to position yourself ahead of other home buyers at the negotiation table:

Get approved for financing

A lot of offers will come in with contingencies or conditions that need to be met after an offer has been accepted. Arranging your financing and securing a mortgage loan is a common offer condition that if not fulfilled, means the deal falls apart. As a seller, the most stable offer with the least likelihood of falling apart is often favoured. Securing your financing ahead of placing an offer will help you write a stronger offer that isn’t dependent on being approved for your mortgage loan. 

Make sure to talk to your mortgage broker to confirm your loan status before submitting an offer without a financing condition. It is crucial when making an offer without a loan contingency that you actually have been approved for financing. The last thing you want is for your deal to fall apart last minute.

Get an inspection ASAP

Your real estate agent will be able to advise you on whether a property is likely to receive multiple offers. If it does, consider bringing an inspector with you to the showing to have a quick look at the property and scope out any major deficiencies ahead of time. Same as above, the fewer conditions your offer has to meet, the more likely a seller is to be interested in working with your offer. It is ALWAYS advised that you get a home inspection on a property to make sure that you’re purchasing a home in good condition. If there is any major work to be done, it’s best you know about it before placing an offer—especially one without a contingency period to allow a thorough inspection.

Write a personal letter

For many people, a home is more than four walls with a roof. It is a place full of memories and experiences. Personal letters can be an effective way to stand out from the crowd and show a seller who loves their home how you plan to create your own memories in their space. It allows you to relate to them, share your story, and explain why their home is the perfect fit for your future. This negotiation strategy doesn’t work with every seller, so make sure to have a conversation with your real

estate agent to determine if it’s a good fit for the property you’re interested in. They will be able to provide you some insight and craft a letter that is likely to have a strong impact on the seller’s decision.

Use your own representation

There is a common misconception that you’ll get a better deal on a property by working with the listing agent to buy a home and that is simply not true. The listing agent is obligated to serve their client’s (the seller) best interests. Even if you sign an agreement with them for representation, the fiduciary duty of a listing agreement supersedes a buyer representation agreement. To have your own best interests represented, work with your own real estate agent who understands your position, motivation, and is ready to negotiate on your behalf.

Throughout the process of buying a home, it’s important to have open, honest, and clear communication with your real estate agent and mortgage lender to make sure that when the time comes, you’re ready to pull the trigger on your dream home. These suggestions, and any other negotiation techniques, should be discussed thoroughly in advance to make sure they’re right and realistic for your goals.

Looking to buy a home this spring? Click here to connect with a local real estate agent with the experience and skills to help you find the perfect home in a competitive real estate market.

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