Snohomish County real estate is hopping right now! This means that it’s a seller’s market and buyers need to have a great agent that is on top of their game to make the most of the buyer’s efforts. One important thing to note is it’s never too early to submit an offer. If you’ve been shopping for a home recently you may have noticed several listings have offer review dates. I just helped a buyer secure her dream home in a neighborhood of Lake Stevens where homes are only averaging 4 days on the market and are selling for 1.8% over list price! Her advantage was submitting a competitive offer early and having our lender ready to go. Partnering with the right real estate agent and lender are essential to winning in this competitive Snohomish County market.
Here’s how we scored in the Lake Stevens market.
Know the team that’s working for you. One of the most important things in a transaction is the people who will be advocating on your behalf- your lender and your agent. Communication is key. Their ethic and ability to problem solve are essential in a smooth transaction. It genuinely makes all the difference in the process and how you get to the finish line! The lender I partnered with was key in this early acceptance - they’re able to close qualified buyers in 15 days!
Be prepared to act fast! My buyer and I came up with a game plan to ensure we were able to see houses that came on the market in a quick manner. She also was completely pre-approved with all documentation for the lender so the only piece missing was a home. Having this plan set in place made it easy for us to target oncoming listings that met her criteria.
Know the pricing of the market. The home we found was not only perfect but in line with current pricing. After reviewing the neighborhood and recent sales we felt confident offering the seller $5k more as well as providing an escalation clause.
You do not have to waive your inspection contingency or financing to be considered a strong offer. I have seen firsthand buyers wanting to throw all caution to the wind and throwing these items out. That is not necessary. Those contingencies are put in place to protect the buyer. You can do a shortened inspection timeline and if the buyer feels inclined they can state the inspection is for their knowledge only, not a negotiating tool. The financing contingency protects you in the contract from losing your money if something unexpectedly should change in your financial situation.
Get that offer in! Last weekend I showed a home to my buyer that was fresh on the market. The offer review date was a week away, but my buyer was in love with this home! Even though there was a review date listed in the notes, I knew the seller had the right to accept an offer at any time. I encouraged my buyer to put in a strong, competitive offer shortly after we previewed the house. The buyer did not have to waive the financing or inspection contingency. We offered a shortened inspection period, a generous earnest money deposit and a quick close date. We had mutual shortly thereafter! Strong communication with the listing agent and a clean competitive offer upfront allowed my buyer to get mutual acceptance on the home of her dreams prior to the review date!
In the event the seller sticks to their review date, it doesn’t hurt to have yours in early. This allows for time to reassess with the listing agent if your original offer needs to be modified based on additional offers that are on the table. In an aggressive market like Snohomish County, this is just another way to be creative in securing your new home!