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Ask a Realtor: Found your dream home? Three ways to stand out in a bidding war

In World
May 05, 2024

You’ve found your dream house — but you’ve got competition. So how do you make a winning offer? Present yourself as a serious buyer and get creative.

As the spring home buying season picks up in the Lower Hudson Valley, it’s not uncommon to see dozens of buyers bid on one home. We asked local realtor Michael Casarella for his advice on standing out as a potential buyer in a bidding war. Read on for what he had to say.

Go above asking price

Casarella, a realtor at ERA Insite Realty Services based in Pleasantville, said sellers always look to sell fast with minimum risk that the deal would fall through. Large down payments and cash offers are always desirable but offers with good terms and solid information can also stand out.

He said sellers would prefer offers with a down payment that is more than 20% of the asking price as those buyers are more likely to get their mortgage financing approved.

More Ask a Realtor: Will the national realtors settlement impact Lower Hudson?

Include as much info as you can

He suggested buyers include as much information as possible in the offer such as inspection date, inspector and attorney’s names. And buyers who offer to waive appraisal or conduct inspection for informational purposes may also stand out.

For those who don’t have enough funds to waive the appraisal, he advised buyers to offer appraisal gap coverage to pay the difference between the appraised value and the agreed-upon price up to a certain amount.

“All cash offers with no contingency is the best thing. But you shouldn’t give up just because you (offer) a small down payment,” Casarella said. “You just have to be more creative” in order to have your offer stand out.

A home at 126 Autumn Drive in Tappan that was listed for sale for $629,900 as of April 23. According to local Realtor Michael Casarella, buyers in bidding competitions over choice properties should present themselves as serious buyers, and get creative.

A home at 126 Autumn Drive in Tappan that was listed for sale for $629,900 as of April 23. According to local Realtor Michael Casarella, buyers in bidding competitions over choice properties should present themselves as serious buyers, and get creative.

More: What kind of house will $600K get you in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam? We checked

Make your offer as risk-free as possible

Casarella said sellers typically look at how much a buyer offers to pay, but he always advises his clients to look at terms such as down payment and any contingencies (a provision for an unforeseeable event or circumstance), especially contingencies that might cause the deal to fall through.

“You want to make it as risk-free as possible. We always look closely at the terms to make sure the terms will match the offer numbers,” he said. “The worst scenario is deals falling through after a contract has been signed but the loan does not get approved.”

Have a question for a Realtor? Email Growth and Development reporter Helu Wang (hwang@lohud.com) or Emerging Audiences Editor Ashley Fontones (afontones@lohud.com).

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: In a bidding war on your dream home? Here’s how to stand out

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