Open Listings Homebuying Guide

Buying a home is easy when you understand each step of the process. We're compiling everything you need to know and defining all the confusing terminology to put you in control.

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Tips for a competitive housing market

How to get your offer accepted if you expect to be competing against multiple offers

Be faster

  • Sign up for alerts to get emails or push notifications when new listings match your search criteria
  • Don’t wait for an open house; visit listings as soon as possible
  • Have your financial documentation and loan pre-approval ready to go
  • Put in early offers (called "pre-emptive" offers) on good properties before others see them

Make your offer stand out

  • Write an offer letter - cheesy but it works
  • Pay for some of the seller's closing costs
  • Ensure that your offer is clean and well-packaged
  • All-cash offers are more attractive than loans, which take time and must be approved by a lender
  • Faster timelines and removal of contingencies contingencies help, but come with their own pitfalls
  • Start with you best and final price and make that known in the offer

Search counterintuitively

  • Find inventory that’s distressed and fix it up yourself
  • Make lower offers on homes that have been sitting on the market for a while
  • Look at land, new construction, alternative property types
  • Search FSBO, auction.com and go to home auctions
  • Look outside your typical searches
  • Buy a larger home, compound or a building with friends and share the cost
  • When all else fails, search for homes on Craigslist

Tips for a competitive housing market

How to get your offer accepted if you expect to be competing against multiple offers