How to Make a Competitive Offer on a House in Norfolk

Norfolk OfferAs a desirable place to live with a dynamic real estate market, Norfolk can be a competitive place to buy a home. If you are preparing to buy a home in Norfolk, you need to know how to make a competitive offer in case you are up against other potential buyers. Looking for homes for sale in Norfolk often means ending up in a multiple-offer scenario, but with the right strategy in place we can help you successfully attract the seller's attention to choose your offer over others. 

Contact us any time to learn more about buying a home in Norfolk. We are ready to help you find the property you're looking for, and we have some tips to help you prepare to make confident, efficient, and competitive offers. 

Mortgage Pre-Approval

One of the first steps you should take in the home buying process is mortgage pre-approval. This is essential for a few reasons.

First, being pre-approved will allow you to make an offer as soon as you want to, not risking the property as you wait to find out if you can afford it. For particularly desirable properties, it's likely that another buyer will put an offer in during the time between when you decide to make an offer and secure mortgage pre-approval. If you're already prepared, you won't have to take this risk. 

Second, sellers are more likely to take you seriously if you make a quick offer with a pre-approval letter in hand. It shows that you know you are ready to buy the home and are in a strong financial positions, so it's less of a risk for the seller to enter escrow with you. 

Third, being pre-approved allows you to know exactly what your budget can be. Not only will you know what you can spend, but you will be able to make a decision based on your projected interest rate, monthly payment, and the terms of the loan. You can take some time to explore different loan options, talking with your lender about FHA loans, VA loans, USDA loans, ARMs, and other options that may be the right fit if a conventional loan isn't quite right for you. 

Making Your First Offer Strong

While everyone loves a bargain, making an offer that is much lower than asking may not be the right strategy. While it may be tempting to start with a lower offer, a competitive market like Norfolk's requires a more assertive approach. Consider making a strong initial offer that is close to the asking price, especially if you are genuinely interested in the property. This signals to the seller that you are serious and committed, setting a positive tone for negotiations.

Including a Letter

A personal letter may or may not have a positive impact depending on the seller's sentimental attachment to the property, but in some cases it is the winning feature of the offer in a multiple offer situation. 

Crafting a compelling offer letter can make a significant difference in a competitive market. Take the time to write a personalized letter to the seller, expressing your genuine interest in the property. Share details about your family, your connection to the neighborhood, and why you envision the house as your future home. Adding a personal touch to your offer can create an emotional connection with the seller, potentially influencing their decision in your favor.

Offering Incentives

Beyond the purchase price, there are things you can include in your offer that may be appealing enough to the seller to make yours stand out from the competition. 

Flexible Closing Timeline

Offering a flexible closing timeline can be a powerful negotiating tool. Sellers may have varying preferences regarding when they want to close the deal, and accommodating their timeline can make your offer more attractive. If you can be flexible with the closing date, it may give you an edge over other potential buyers.

Escalation Clause

In situations where multiple offers are expected, consider including an escalation clause in your offer. This clause allows your offer to automatically increase by a specified amount if a competing bid surpasses it. While this strategy can be effective, it's crucial to set a cap that aligns with your budget to avoid overcommitting, so make sure you're clear about your budget first.

Bill Gassett of Maximum Real Estate Exposure provided some terrific advice, especially in a hot seller's market.

"Adding an escalation clause is one of the better ways to make a competitive offer in a tight real estate market. The beauty of an escalator in an offer is that you can make an excellent bid while setting up boundaries you don't want to exceed. It shows a seller you have a strong interest in their home but are limited on what you can afford to pay.

The key is to write the escalation clause correctly. Too many real estate agents need to counsel their clients better. The escalator should be more than $1000 over the highest bidder. That amount of money will not influence a seller when other terms in another offer could be more attractive.

A better escalator would be at least $5000. It will at least give the seller something to think about. It is also essential to find other crucial terms for a seller. For example, do they have a preferred closing date? If so, you must give it to them.

Winning an offer often comes down to excellent communication between the buyer's agent and the listing agent. Deals have been won and lost plenty of times due to miscommunication or needing to be precise.

I have used escalation clauses many times over the years for my clients. As a listing agent, I've received many as well. They can be just what the doctor orders for sealing your next deal."

Contingencies

Streamline your offer by minimizing contingencies while still protecting your interests. While certain contingencies, such as a home inspection and an appraisal, are standard, consider being flexible with the timelines or being willing to cover minor repairs yourself. A cleaner and more straightforward offer can be more appealing to sellers, especially in a competitive market.

Choosing the Right Agent

Having a skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent by your side is crucial in navigating Norfolk's competitive housing market. We provide valuable local market insights, guide you through the negotiation process, and help you make informed decisions. We may also have access to off-market listings or be aware of upcoming properties, giving you a competitive advantage. 

Ready to find your home in Norfolk? Contact us any time. 

382 Properties
Page 1 of 32
$325,000
Neighborhood: Lindenwood
4
Beds
3
Baths
2,098
Sq.Ft.
1916
Year Built
1
Day on Site
10528059
MLS
$340,000
Neighborhood: Capeview Colony
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,308
Sq.Ft.
1960
Year Built
2
Days on Site
10528044
MLS
$280,000
Neighborhood: Lafayette Terrace
3
Beds
1
Baths
1,088
Sq.Ft.
1925
Year Built
2
Days on Site
10528058
MLS
$279,900
Neighborhood: Ballentine Place
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,300
Sq.Ft.
1920
Year Built
2
Days on Site
10528060
MLS
$265,000
Neighborhood: Campostella
3
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,800
Sq.Ft.
1908
Year Built
3
Days on Site
10527637
MLS
Open 4/14
9469 Hickory St Norfolk,  VA 23503
$400,000
Neighborhood: Willoughby Park
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,100
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
3
Days on Site
10527799
MLS
$273,900
Neighborhood: Coleman Place
3
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,000
Sq.Ft.
1959
Year Built
3
Days on Site
10527650
MLS
$455,000
Neighborhood: Willoughby Terrace
5
Beds
3
Baths
2,458
Sq.Ft.
2017
Year Built
3
Days on Site
10527376
MLS
$265,000
Neighborhood: Norview East
4
Beds
2
Baths
1,500
Sq.Ft.
1942
Year Built
3
Days on Site
10527852
MLS
Open 4/14
7615 Gloucester Ave Norfolk,  VA 23505
$349,000
Neighborhood: Rose Gardens
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,745
Sq.Ft.
1940
Year Built
3
Days on Site
10527291
MLS
$275,000
Neighborhood: Berkley
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,012
Sq.Ft.
1915
Year Built
3
Days on Site
10527914
MLS
$395,000
Neighborhood: Bayview Beach
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,906
Sq.Ft.
1953
Year Built
3
Days on Site
10527374
MLS
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