How NJ buyers are jumping through hoops to land dream home
It's a seller's market in New Jersey — fewer homes to choose from, and multiple buyers going after those homes that are up for grabs.
So from time to time, prospective home buyers are willing to make some sacrifices, or pull at a seller's heart strings, to hopefully gain an edge on everyone else involved in the bidding war.
"I actually just got an offer on one of my houses a couple days ago that had a picture of the young couple that was making the offer on the property," said Robert Dekanski, a Realtor and team leader with RE/MAX 1st Advantage.
Rarely do the two sides of the transaction — buyer and seller — meet at any point during the process. So when interested buyers put a face to their offer, including the faces of their adorable children, it could sweeten the deal, even if their offer isn't the highest.
A photograph is just one of the many tactics Dekanski's seen from house hunters during multiple bid situations.
"It may be a letter telling the homeowner how much they love the home and what they plan on doing with it and how long they plan on enjoying it for," he said.
But, Dekanski admits, money talks for most sellers. Many times, though, bidding wars end up with a number of offers in the same ballpark.
Going beyond their offer, buyers may be willing to give up some of the little power they have in order to land a new home.
Sacrifices include "no contingency" deals where an inspection is for informational purposes only, or an appraisal is waived, up to a certain amount.
According to Dekanski, "bigger money down" is known to catch a seller's eye as well.
"When you put more up front, it gives the seller more peace of mind that you're serious about going through with the sale, and that you're not going to risk jeopardizing that deposit money," Dekanski said.
For buyers rolling in the dough, an all-cash offer can really swing the pendulum their way. With an all-cash transaction, sellers don't have to worry about the buyer securing a mortgage commitment, or for how much the house is appraised.
According to the National Association of Realtors, cash sales made up 23 percent of New Jersey's residential transactions in 2017, down slightly from 25 percent in 2016.