Four years ago when the market really started taking off, the Sentinel ran an article about first-time buyers who were at their wit’s end after putting in offers on 23 different houses without getting any of them! Rather than suffering more of the indignities that the rapidly appreciating market could dish out, they decided to move elsewhere. Where the odds and the offers weren’t stacked so high against them.
While I felt badly for them, the Realtor-voice in the back of my head also had to ask: How can anyone put in 23 offers and not get a single one accepted? That’s way more than a simple case of bad luck. Coming up empty-handed 23 straight times means there’s something bigger going on. You are: a) Looking way above your means b) Getting really bad advice c) Unclear about how the market works. d) Too stubborn to learn from your mistakes . Or all of the above.
My own observation is that the majority of inexperienced buyers wandering around from open house to open house and offer to offer, don’t have a clue about what they are doing. And also don’t stand much of a chance of succeeding because of it. What’s desperately needed is a new kind of buyer boot-camp that helps people prepare for the rigors of the multiple-offer mosh-pit, by starting with the most basic list of things every buyer should already know:
- – Get your pre-approval set. Not sorta kinda. Do it. And keep updating it every two months.
- -Use an experienced local lender who other local agents know and trust.
- -Work with an experienced local Agent who has lots of multiple-offer experience
- -Don’t use four different search engines. You’ll just confuse yourself and your agent.
- -Don’t just look at properties online. Visit them. See them. Feel them. That’s the part that counts.
- -Finding a house is work. If you aren’t willing to make time to get to Open Houses on the weekend then you aren’t ready.
- -When you go to open houses – make sure you know what you should and shouldn’t say around the listing agent.
- -Don’t waste your time dreaming about secret off-market listings or cheap-o foreclosure deals – that’s just you distracting yourself from the real choices at hand.
- -Give up on the notion that you aren’t going to complete. Roll up your sleeves and get ready.
- – If your parents are helping with a down payment, make sure they are fully invested in your process.