It’s no secret that the housing market is a competitive one. With inventory at historically low levels, there just aren’t that many homes out there to choose from. As a result, buyers are finding themselves in bidding war after bidding war.

Not only does this make it harder to find a home, it makes the process longer, too, and for many buyers – especially those with kiddos – that’s not an option.

So what can you do to keep the market’s short supply from raining on your homebuying parade? Here are a few tips that can help you stand out as a buyer – and edge out that competition:

  1. Get prequalified. This one isn’t optional. You want a seller to know you’re a safe bet right off that bat and that you’re not going to back out when your mortgage loan is denied weeks later. Prequalification can give them this confidence. Once you’ve been approved for your loan, make sure to get documentation from your lender and include it with any offers you submit.
  2. Give them some incentives. Sellers want the process to be quick and affordable just as much as you do. If you really want them to like your offer, consider giving them a few incentives to do so. You could waive the inspection period, offer more earnest money or even offer to pay some of their closing costs.
  3. Act fast. Don’t dawdle if you see a house you like. Schedule a showing immediately, and if you love the property, put a bid in that day. This shows you’re committed and excited about the home, and it ensures you don’t miss your window of opportunity (because homes don’t last long on today’s market!)
  4. Write them a letter. Make a personal appeal to the seller by writing them a letter, detailing why you want the home and what the dream of homeownership means to you and your family. If you’ve had a particularly hard time finding a property you love – or one that fits your budget – you may even want to highlight those struggles to convince the seller to choose your offer over another bidder’s.
  5. Start with your best offer. No one wants to waste time haggling or negotiating, so start off with your very best offer – the absolute most you’re willing to pay. Make sure to talk to your agent about your number beforehand; it should be based on local comparable sales and other market data. You don’t want to go higher than you need to!
  6. Offer to rent back the property. Don’t need to move in right away? Offer sellers the option to lease back their home until they find a new property and get settled in. This is a great option if the seller is moving cross-state or cross-country, or if they have kids they need to consider.

Today’s market might be competitive, but it’s not impossible to buy in. Want help standing out and getting your dream home? The Claus Team is here to help.