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4 Tips for Buyers in a Seller’s Market

Here are four tips to help buyers navigate our ongoing seller’s market.

Sometimes buyers wonder if it’s even worth it to try to compete in a seller’s market because when there’s very little inventory available, it’s not unusual for sellers to receive five to 10 offers. However, it’s almost always a good idea to write an offer anyway. Here are four of my best tips for buyers navigating the current seller’s market:

1. Submit a large earnest money deposit. Sometimes pending home sales don’t go through, and many sellers are worried that when they commit to an offer, the winning buyer will back out or default on the contract after the other buyers have moved on to other homes. Earnest money is part of your down payment, and by offering a little more, you’re showing the seller that you’re serious about closing. You’re only offering a bit more money sooner rather than later, but it speaks volumes.

2. Get pre-approved. Almost every offer will be accompanied by a lender letter. To stand out, ask your lender for a pre-approval letter, which is different from a pre-qualification letter. Getting pre-approved makes you a stronger buyer in the seller’s eyes.

Offer your highest price and make your offer extremely attractive upfront.

3. Give the seller time to move. Buyer possession is often a tricky point in negotiations. It’s difficult to juggle multiple closings if you’re buying and selling simultaneously and even more challenging if the sellers are doing the same. Cut the seller some slack by giving them two or three days to move out without expecting any compensation. 

4. Write your best offer. Don’t hope for negotiations; offer your highest price and make your offer extremely attractive upfront. Maybe even offer a bit above list price; ask your real estate agent for a CMA to determine pricing, but sometimes sellers deliberately set their price below comparable sales to generate multiple offers. So paying a little extra doesn’t necessarily mean you’re overpaying or paying above market value. 

As always, if you have any questions about buying or selling in the present real estate market or suggestions for a topic you’d like me to cover in a future blog, give me a call or send an email. I look forward to speaking with you.

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John Lyons

Tired of traveling week-in and week-out for his corporate job, John Lyons decided to start his own real estate business. Lyons could not have predicted how well his background would prepare him for a career in real estate. His journey has been a long and successful one. After graduating from Indiana University in 2001, he took a job selling copiers at Minolta Business Solutions. After building an impressive track record there, he was hired by BrainLAB, Inc. to sell image guides surgical systems. He quickly rose to become one of the top sales representatives for the company. Seven years later, he was hired by Midwest director of sales IMRIS, for their intraoperative MRI and integrated operating room solutions. Now he has a new outlet for his sales abilities: real estate. A Chicago Association of Realtors Top Producer and recipient of Baird and Warner’s Founder’s Club award for the past four years, Lyons had a record 2018, selling more than 11.7 million in real estate. This marked an 18 percent increase over his 2017 numbers. “I was able to accomplish this through daily prospecting and providing a high-level of service for my clients,” he says. In testimonials, his clients say he is patient, trustworthy, personable, knowledgeable, and professional. “Each and every client is so different,” he says. “It’s important to truly understand their needs so you can best serve them. Listening build trust, which is so incredibly important in our business.” A member of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, he assist clients in a variety of neighborhoods, including the Near North Side, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Uptown, Ravenswood, Logan Square, West Town, and the Loop. He is quick to admit the best education he has ever received was from his 6 years of service in the United States Marine Corps. Lyons donates $200 per transaction to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lurie Children’s Hospital. “I am running the Chicago Marathon in 2019 for Lurie Children’s Hospital,” he says. “I have a lofty goal this year, to qualify for the Boston Marathon a second time. Since the beginning of the year, I have been spending at least four hours a week training for the October 13 race.” Results matter, here are John's Listing Numbers: Average list to sell ratio - 98.2% Average days to closing - 52 Listings taken to listings sold - 99%

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