Danko said she hasn’t let clients make or take offers on “coming soon” listings, which can’t be viewed either in person or virtually. She said that such sight-unseen offers don’t benefit either the buyer or the seller because there’s a risk that the buyer can back out or have contingencies in place.
When the right house does come on the market, buyers need to be ready to go all in, she said. She recommends they get preapproved and have money in hand for the down payment and expect to pay closing costs, which are about 3 percent of the total price. She said it was typical for sellers to pick up the tab for closing costs last year but she’s not seeing that now.
“What I don’t want is for people to get discouraged about the market,” she said. “If you have financing in place and work with a Realtor who can guide you through the process, it’s not impossible.”
Preparation does help, said Kent Schrader, a mortgage loan officer with Assurance Financial—Fredericksburg. People looking to buy a new home should first decide if they’re ready financially or if they need more time to do such things as pay down a student loan or improve their credit rating.
When they do decide to take the plunge, they should also be prepared to pay above list price and, like Davis and Sprouse, be persistent if their first offer falls though. Schrader said he prequalified a couple who were prepared to offer $515,000 for a house listed at $509,000, but there were eight other bids. Undaunted, they decided to make an offer for a different property listed at a little over $600,000.