When there's a seller's market in the area you want to buy a house in, it affects everything from the price of a property to how you make a purchase offer. Don't be surprised if the temperature of the real estate market varies between locations because this kind of market is really fragmented. This means that it could be a buyer's market in one city and in the adjoining city, it could be a different story. There are a lot of things that affect the market. In terms of making an offer that will get noticed and get you the results that you want during a seller's market, here are a few tips.
1. Include proof of your financial capacity - This only means two things; a preapproval letter and a proof that you have the means to pay for the downpayment. The preapproval letter is already a given in many states all over the country. Real estate agents will really push you to include this in the purchase offer. This shows the seller that you have applied for a loan and the loan has gone through underwriting where it has been approved. Your loan could still be denied, but the point is that you are financially capable and your credit history is good enough to get approved. Showing capacity to pay the downpayment may just be a proof that you have cash in the bank to cover this.
2. Make a generous earnest money deposit - Before you offer an amount for earnest money deposit as well as sign a purchase contract, make sure that you have contingencies in place to protect your interest. There are reasons you can forsee which will make you want to change your mind about purchasing a house. Increasing the earnest money will show the seller you are serious about negotiating because you have more to lose.
3. Shorten inspection times as much as possible - If you can have the house thoroughly inspected within a shorter period of time (without exhausting the required time period for inspection), this could help make the seller notice your offer. Take note that you're not skipping on the inspections but that you're scheduling them closer together so that they will finish faster. This saves you and the seller more time and makes the closing period finish faster.
4. Include a letter to the seller - It doesn't hurt to put a human face to the offer you are making. If you really feel strongly about the house, and if the house seems like it was loved by the current owners, writing how the house is your dream home and what motivates you to buy it and your committment to take care of it may make a huge difference.
5. Waive contingencies as long as it's reasonable - Some contingencies such as requesting for minor repairs and the likes can reasonably be waived with minimal risks. Some contingencies can be waved but only if you're absolutely, a hundred percent sure that it won't cause problems in the future. Waiving the appraisal contingency, for example, significantly increases your chances of being able to close the deal with the seller. As long as you have enough money to cover the difference in case the house gets a low appraisal from the lender, then this shouldn't be a problem.