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How to's and money-saving tips from resident homeowner and mortgage professional, Cathy West

What can shoppers do to avoid bidding wars?

What can shoppers do to avoid bidding wars?

The idea of buying a home can sometimes be a little stressful – especially for first-time shoppers – because the likelihood of a bidding war in today's market is so high. However, there are plenty of things shoppers can do to avoid those concerns and buy a house with relatively little fuss. With that in mind, doing a little bit of homework and preparation to sidestep the issues that usually lead to bidding wars is always a good idea.

One thing that many buyers in today's market have already done is linger until the activity starts to cool down a bit. Spring and summer are always the busiest times of the year for homebuying, so waiting until the fall or winter means there will simply be fewer people shopping and bidding on homes.

But when it comes to actually having decided to bid on a home, the best idea for shoppers is to not lowball sellers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle Home Guides. Any shopper – working in conjunction with a real estate agent and financial professional – will be able to determine exactly how much they can afford to spend on a home (and they should always get preapproval on their mortgage before they even go shopping). Therefore, if people are eager to buy a home, they should submit their best bid first, and potentially wow sellers into agreeing to a sale without taking other bids.

Likewise, the fewer contingencies attached to that sale – such as those related to inspections and how quickly a mortgage can be closed – the better off bidders are likely to be, the report said.

Getting it right
Of course, would-be buyers could fall in love with a home and want to submit a big bid as quickly as possible, but that might not always be a good idea, according to Ryan Homes. For instance, even if the home is great, if it's priced in a way that's out of line with properties carrying similar features, amenities and so on, real estate agents should be able to advise clients that going big on a bid isn't a good idea.

With that in mind, it's a good idea for buyers to look at properties as dispassionately as they can, the report said. This can help ensure that they're making rational decisions and not overlooking potentially big issues that could lead them to jump in with both feet before they look where they're likely to land.

The road less traveled
Finally, shoppers should keep in mind that if they want to live in trendy neighborhoods, they're far more likely to run into competition for just about any property, according to The Mortgage Reports. For that reason, finding homes that are near those hip areas but a little off the beaten path could help them lock in a good deal sooner than later.

Any time first-time shoppers have questions or want to take the next step with a home purchase, they should always consult with their agent or mortgage professional to determine the best path forward.

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