Are you ready to conquer the competitive real estate market and find your dream home? With our expert strategies, you’ll navigate the challenges seamlessly. Discover invaluable tips for buying a house in a competitive market. Let’s dive in and make your home-buying dreams a reality!

Realtor Tips for Buyers

1.) Have Your Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter Ready

Before you start house hunting, it’s crucial to have your mortgage pre-approval letter ready. This document shows sellers that you are a serious buyer and have already been approved for a loan. It gives you a competitive edge over other potential buyers who haven’t taken this step yet. By having your pre-approval letter in hand, you can confidently make offers on properties and increase your chances of getting accepted.

Real Estate Pro Tip: From our experience in the current market, most home sellers want to see buyers who can attain a conventional loan over an FHA loan. Weigh your options and see if going this route is feasible, to gain a competitive edge.

2.) Act Fast to Put an Offer on The Home You Love

In a competitive market, properties can come and go quickly. With the current New Jersey market, we’re experiencing right now, homes are typically under contract between 20-30 days if not sooner. This is why it’s essential to act fast when you find a home you love. 

Generally, in a competitive market it is important to schedule viewings as soon as possible and submit offers promptly. Delays can cost you the opportunity to secure the house, as other buyers may be waiting in line. By acting swiftly, you demonstrate your seriousness and increase your chances of successfully buying the home.

Real Estate Pro Tip: With our realtor team at Casa Real Properties, we leverage manual market checks in addition to automated notifications for our buyers. This way you can be emailed the latest market listings, as they appear in the MLS. Oftentimes we will give our home buyers first previews if it is a listing, we have in-house.

3.) Offer a Earnest Money Deposit with Your Offer (If You Can)

To show sellers that you are committed to purchasing their property, consider offering an earnest money deposit along with your offer. This deposit is a sum of money that demonstrates your sincerity as a buyer. It is typically held in escrow and applied to your down payment or closing costs upon successful completion of the purchase. Offering a significant earnest money deposit can make your offer more attractive and competitive in a tight market.

Real Estate Pro Tip: To protect your earnest money deposit, you can have contingencies in place such as a pass of inspection, having the home appraised at the value you’re offering, and ensuring the title of the home can be pulled with no issues. You can talk to your real estate attorney for the verbiage to use when it comes time for contractual negotiations. 

4.) Check if Your Mortgage Lender Can Expedite Closing

Closing timelines can play a significant role in a competitive market. Sellers often prefer buyers who can close quickly and smoothly. To gain a competitive edge, check with your lender to see if it’s possible to expedite the closing process. Some lenders offer fast-track options or can provide you with a clear estimate of the closing timeline. By ensuring a quicker closing, you make your offer more appealing to sellers. We typically advise our clients to seek a 30-45 day close in competitive markets. 

Real Estate Pro Tip: Have all of your information for your mortgage lender handy. Including your most recent tax statements, last month of pay-stubs, bank statements, and any other additional information you anticipate. 

We also have referrals in-house to help you locate the best deal on your home insurance and title insurance. 

5.) Consider Limiting Your Inspections to Structural and Environmental Checks Only

In a competitive market, it’s common for buyers to face bidding wars and multiple offers. To make your offer more enticing to sellers, consider limiting your inspections to structural and environmental checks only. This means focusing on essential aspects that impact the property’s safety and integrity. By waiving other inspections, you streamline the process and show sellers that you are willing to make concessions to secure the home.

Real Estate Pro Tip: Once you are under attorney review, give a call to your home inspector to be on standby to perform the proper checks on the house. With a faster close, these timelines for an inspector’s report may be expedited. 

Discover Your Home Purchasing Power.

Leverage Our Decades of Experience in a Competitive Market. Our Clients are Still Closing on Their Dream Homes

Buying a house in a competitive market requires strategic planning and swift action. By following these expert tips, you can enhance your chances of success and stand out from other buyers. These strategies will position you as a strong contender in a competitive real estate market.

At Casa Real Properties, we have been serving the New Jersey real estate market for over 25+ years. Our commitment to putting our clients first has earned us a trusted reputation. From mortgage pre-approvals to closing day, we provide personalized and collaborative services to make your dreams of homeownership a reality. Contact us today to discover how we can assist you.

Download Our Free Home Buyer’s Guide Instantly

Frequently Asked Questions about Buying a House in a Hot Market

The time to obtain a mortgage pre-approval can vary depending on several factors. Typically, it takes around 2-3 days to process your application and receive a pre-approval letter. However, it’s important to provide all the required documentation promptly to avoid delays.

In most cases, if the deal falls through due to reasons specified in the contract, you can get your earnest money deposit back. However, it’s crucial to review the terms and conditions of the contract carefully and consult with your real estate agent or attorney for guidance.

To determine if you can expedite the closing process, reach out to your mortgage lender and discuss your options. They will assess your situation, review the necessary paperwork, and provide guidance on expediting the closing. Typically through our network we’ve seen closings as fast as 30 days.

Structural inspections focus on the foundation, roof, walls, and overall structural integrity of the property. Environmental checks typically include assessing potential hazards such as radon, asbestos, lead, and mold. Consult with a qualified home inspector for a comprehensive list of inspections.

Waiving inspections is a personal decision and depends on your risk tolerance and the condition of the property. It’s recommended to consult with a real estate professional and a qualified home inspector to make an informed decision based on your specific circumstances.

Speak With a Real Estate Expert

About the Author: Nancy Pavic

Avatar photo
Nancy Pavic is an expert in the New Jersey real estate market. For the past 25+ years, she has brokered Casa Real Properties, a well-distinguished real estate office in the Northern New Jersey area. Her prestigious awards include membership into the Top 1% of Realtors, the “Circle of Excellence” award by the New Jersey Association of Realtors, a front page cover spread of Top Agent Magazine, and a recipient of the Mayoral Award for Financial/Real Estate at the 2009 Paterson Women’s History Awards Ceremony.