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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, July 3, 2020

Best offer isn’t always for the most money




You’ve probably noticed there are fewer houses for sale right now. While your observation is correct, you might not realize there also has been a dramatic increase in the number of homes sold.

Our housing market is competitive, and properties are moving quickly. When you put these factors together, you’re more likely going to see multiple offers on listed properties.

Exactly how fast is the market moving? For the week ending June 20, there were 1,900 homes for sale in the Greater Chattanooga area. The same week a year ago, there were nearly 3,000. That’s a 36.6% decrease in houses for sale.

If that weren’t enough, pending sales for the week ending June 20 was 360. The same week last year, there were 215. That’s a 67.4% increase in sales.

We’re in a seller’s market, meaning home prices are a bit higher and inventory is much lower. It also means buyers are more than likely competing against multiple bidders.

Surprisingly, the bid with the highest price is not always the one the seller chooses. Sellers want to get the best price for their home, but that isn’t always the deciding factor.

One way of making your offer stronger is to eliminate or reduce the number of contingencies by paying for a pre-offer inspection. That way, your offer should be less of a hassle for the seller and the one that gets strong consideration.

That doesn’t mean you should submit a below-market offer with no contingencies. Now is not the time to make a lowball offer. When you’re going up against more than one potential buyer, it’s the time to put your best foot forward on the initial offer.

This might be your one chance to convince the owner to sell their home to you, so it’s all the more important to submit your best possible purchase offer upfront.

If you can pay cash, chances are better the seller will accept your offer. Sellers appreciate all-cash offers as they usually mean a quick, streamlined purchase.

Financing issues, such as delays in mortgage approval or getting funds moved from the buyer’s bank account, are the primary causes of delays in the closing process. If a seller can avoid a lengthy or complicated process by choosing an all-cash buyer, there’s a good chance they will.

For most people, however, a cash offer isn’t possible, and they need to qualify for some variety of mortgage financing. If this is your situation, it’s a good idea to get preapproved for a mortgage before you begin searching for a home.

With loan preapproval, you’ll be able to make a solid commitment to buy, and your offer will be more appealing to the seller.

The most important thing you can do to give yourself an advantage is hire a Realtor. In such a competitive market, buyers need every advantage they can get, and working with a Realtor to make the best purchase offer is a smart move.

Realtors have real insights and unparalleled knowledge of our local market and can help you navigate the complicated home buying process. We’re here to be your housing resource. That’s Who We R.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.