Negotiating In A Seller's Market - For Buyers


You’ve likely noticed sold signs popping up everywhere. 2021 has become a seller’s market, particularly with properties priced between $250,000 and $400,000. If you’re a buyer, this can be challenging and it means putting your best foot forward when you write an offer. Today we want to share with you how you can make the strongest offer in a seller’s market.

First, do your best to make an offer with less conditions. The most common conditions include subject to financing, home inspection and sale of buyer’s home. When you write conditions in an offer it means that you want to buy the property as long as said conditions are satisfied. Unless you’re paying cash for a property, it is smart to include a financing condition as it can be too risky to write an offer without one. Also, it’s rarely wise to skip a property inspection. The inspection helps to prepare you for future repairs and gives you confidence to know the property will not have any major unexpected surprises upon move in. An offer with a subject to sale of a home can be less appealing for sellers in a competitive market. Although this can be scary as a buyer, you may want to consider selling your current property before writing an offer on a new one. Of course this is dependent on many factors, so it’s best to talk with your Realtor about what steps are best for you.

Second, be ready to make a decision and don’t ask for too many extras. In a buyer’s market you can think about a property for a few days and it’ll probably still be available once you’ve decided to move forward. A seller’s market however moves much more quickly. For this reason you need to be prepared to write an offer once you find the right home and make that offer clean as possible. A clean offer means that you don’t ask for a lot more than what the seller is willing to give. For example, if you’re in a multiple offer position and the seller does not want to leave the washer and dryer, asking for these items to be included could cost you the property. It’s better to leave these items out of the offer and plan to bring in your own set. In this market sellers can have an upper hand, making it easy for them to wait for another offer if the first one doesn’t meet their needs.

Third, include a higher deposit and a pre-approval letter with your offer. Having a pre-approval letter shows that you are organized and serious about buying a home. It also demonstrates that the prep-work has already been done for financing and increases a seller’s confidence that you can be approved for the mortgage. Additionally, a larger deposit increases the seller’s peace of mind that you will follow through with the purchase until completion day. In case you’re not aware, the deposit is refunded if your conditions cannot be met nor waived.

If you write a strong, clean offer then your chances of acceptance are much greater than the buyer who is unprepared and looking for a great deal. The best thing you can do is find an experienced Realtor who knows this market well and can help to best position you for this seller’s market. Whether you’re a first time buyer, thinking about selling, or just want to talk about what options might be available for you, contact us today! We’d be happy to see how we can help you achieve your real estate goals!

Jason Rustand with RE/MAX Real Estate serves with the highest level of integrity and excellence every time. To talk to Jason about your real estate needs, contact him at 780-919-0004, email or visit