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Our San Francisco Bay area real estate market is red hot right now.

We’re currently in an extremely competitive market for buyers. The number of available homes for sale is at historic lows, while the number of buyers in the market remains high.

In fact, listings are sometimes seeing 10 or more offers. But, don’t let this discourage you if you’re looking to buy.

You don’t necessarily need to submit an all-cash offer or offer the highest price to secure a home. In fact, sellers may not choose the highest offer if they feel as though that buyer isn’t going to follow through.

Today, I’ve got some steps you can take to win out against multiple offers. Here are just a few:

  1. Having underwritten approval from a lender. Whether you’re working with a large bank or a mortgage broker, you need to have a solid preapproval or underwritten approval. In our current market, this will help you present a more enticing offer. It also gives you a higher level of certainty as you move forward in the process. But, be sure to work with someone who has a good reputation in the community, since they will be communicating with other professionals involved in your transaction.
  2. Write a compelling offer letter. Most sellers have an emotional attachment to their home, especially if they’ve lived there for a long time. They want to know who will live there after they move. So, write a compelling offer letter explaining what you like about the area, what their property means for you and your family, and what made you fall in love with their home. A nice cover letter can’t make up for an otherwise unattractive offer, but a positive cover letter can definitely boost an offer from good to great.
  3. Prepare a complete offer package. Offers are written on a purchase contract. When you submit an offer, remember to include all necessary items. This includes your preapproval, your proof of funds, your cover letter, and a fully-signed disclosure package. Some agents won’t provide this last item, since it takes more work to put together. Quality agents, though, will work with you to put together a complete offer package.
  4. Present the offer in person. This advice applies more to real estate agents than it does to buyers, but it is important nonetheless. Most of the time, experienced listing agents like to work with someone they know will be professional and able to close the deal. Presenting an offer in person shows that you and your agent are committed to the transaction.
  5. Consider pocket listings. Because inventory levels are so low, you may not even find the home you like on the market. At this point, you might need to get creative. Many Realtors have what they call “pocket listings.” These properties are for sale, but aren’t listed on the MLS. Sometimes, sellers prefer to do business in a private sale rather than going through the MLS. If you are willing to look into this option, these homes can be a great alternative to on-the-market listings.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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