How To Be Competitively Saavy in a Hot Housing Market


adj.sav·vi·er, sav·vi·est

1. Well informed and perceptive; shrewd: savvy Washington insiders.
2. Knowledgeable or proficient. Often used in combination: tech-savvy; media-savvy.
– The Free Dictionary

Get Saavy!

So you want to write an offer that gets accepted huh?  Looking for the silver bullet that’s going to get your offer looked at above all others on the seller’s dining room table?  Well, I have one word for you.  It’s time to get saavy.   The next several articles here at will cover these tips three at a time.  Follow along or subscribe to this blog if you want to get these delivered directly to your inbox. 

Hot Market, Hot Listings –  Cold Buyers or Bold Buyers?

So you’re thinking of moving to our boom town?  You want to get your offer accepted and move on with the purchase of that dream home?  Then…You have to understand a few things about what’s going on in a place where there are more people like you buying than there are folks who are selling.  And you also have to understand that everything that I’m going to tell you could just shift tomorrow!

I’m writing to you from the perspective of a real estate agent who is in the Nashville market.  Statistics are telling us that somewhere between 80 and 100 new people a day are coming to our town.  Building contractors can’t put up houses or apartment complexes fast enough to catch up with the growth that we are seeing on our turf.  And the market is hotter than it’s ever been.  Sure there’s the seasonal slow down, but signs aren’t showing that there is any downturn coming any time soon.

So…now is the time to be bold, not cold as a buyer in a hot seller’s market. You’ve got to get wise to what is going on in the minds of the sellers around here.   And boldness doesn’t come without its setbacks.  In spite of that reality,the ever changing and shifting market around us is already telling you how to get an offer in that will rise above the rest.  I want to give you some practical tips that I believe will help you if you are trying to navigate the middle class homebuying experience.  Most of what I’m about to give you will help you with homes in the 150-250k range… simply because these are the most affordable homes for the average homebuyer.  Depending on the market demand for higher priced homes (which changes and shifts seasonally at times), these tips may also apply for the higher bracket homes.

No Guarantees

This isn’t a guaranteed formula or a silver bullet.  Unfortunately, there’s not such a thing. But what I can tell you is that these tried and true tips will help you position yourself to be at the top of your game and competitively saavy in this hot sellers market.  So let’s get started.

Tip # 1  Get A Realtor

Never underestimate the value of finding a professional Realtor.  You will probably only purchase a handful of homes in your lifetime…if that.  A Realtor is in the business of buying and selling homes for people all the time.  A good Realtor will do 30+ transactions a year.  If you are going to buy a house, you are going to want a professional, compassionate, and relationally oriented Realtor to help you with that process.

Now, there are good Realtors and there are not so good ones.  Find someone to whom your story matters, who will take the time to get to know you and/or your spouse, and who will ask lots of great questions to help find out what it is you really want and what they need to show you.

A good Realtor will ask you if you have a pre-approval from a mortgage company.  They aren’t asking this to brush you off… they just want to make sure that you aren’t wasting your time looking at homes that are out of your price range.  A good Realtor will schedule time to help you find what you are looking for, and they will help you narrow down your choices so that you find what best fits your family’s needs.  A good Realtor will also know a lot of people in your area.  They will have a wealth of relationships with all kinds of people to help serve you as you walk through the process.  Ask a Realtor who they recommend for Mortgage approval as well.  They will know who you need to go to for Mortgage advice if you don’t already have someone in mind.

Tip # 2 Cash Is King

In a seller’s market, cash means a lot.  That’s because most folks who are selling their home want to get a clean and easy buyer who can show them on the front end that they mean business.  The more cash you have to bring to the table, the better you will position your offer to be accepted.  While there are many programs out there that help you buy a home with minimal cash down, if you can save up enough money to put 20% down, then you’ll position yourself to be looked at more seriously.

That doesn’t mean that if you don’t have 20% down you won’t get looked at.  Some sellers are very sensitive to people’s stories as well.  However, most realtors are going to advise their seller to make a decision with both their head and their heart.  A seller is going to want to make a good business decision.  The more you can show that you have all your ducks in a row financially, the more confidence that seller will have in their decision to choose your offer over someone who brought more money to the table.

Also, you have to remember that just saving up for a down payment isn’t enough.  You are going to need to pay for inspections, earnest money, etc along the way, and so you want to make sure  you’ve got enough money for that as well.  Needless to say, Cash is King.

Tip 3 Earnest Money Matters

In this market, much of what we are doing is truly like theater.  So much of it is in how we present ourselves.  We aren’t “acting”, but we are trying to put on an attractive appearance.  Just as much as a seller is selling their home, you are selling yourself to them as a buyer.

The process of getting an offer seriously considered is also a bit of a “dance”.  My managing broker at Weichert told me once that “You want to be the prettiest girl at the dance.” Have a Minimum of $1000 Earnest Money to Put Down in your Offer, that way, you will look attractive to that seller when your offer is sitting on the table among other attractive offers.  This really ties in with the whole “Cash is King” concept that I shared in Tip #2.

More Tomorrow

There’s more tips where those three came from.  I’ll give you three more helpful buyer tips tomorrow.

If you want to keep getting these helpful buyer’s tips, just subscribe to my website on the home page.  I’ll be adding more content in the coming days, and I want to keep you up to date on everything that is going on here in town.  Thanks for reading if you got this far today.  Hope this helps!