Connecting with Sellers is Key for Getting the Chicago Home You Want

This week we discussed the competition many buyers are facing when purchasing a Chicago home. Low inventories, rising mortgage rates and increasing prices have all contributed to putting more buyers into the game, leading to bidding wars and heavy competition in the market.
If you find yourself in a bidding war, many buyers are taking an extra step to connect with the sellers on a different level. This goes beyond tossing out the highest dollar amount, but instead means introducing yourself and making a personal appeal to the people behind the for-sale sign.
How to Stand Out When Making a Chicago Real Estate Offer
Real estate is a business, so making such an appeal isn’t going to get you a lower price or a better deal. But when a seller is faced with a stack of offers that all look the same, it certainly doesn’t hurt to take measures to help yours stand out.
Here are a few things I’d suggest adding to an offer to help you stand out as a buyer:
Get prequalified. This is extremely important for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, getting prequalified for a mortgage loan lets you know upfront what you’re able to borrow, and therefore, afford when purchasing a Chicago home. For sellers, a prequalification ensures that a buyer has been financially vetted and won’t hold up the purchase process because of a financing contingency, etc.
Consider other favorable conditions: Think of what else you can add to your offer that would swing a buyer in your favor–perhaps an early closing date, accommodating the seller’s moving timeline, foregoing an inspection, or anything else that contributes to the buyer’s goals (which often is getting a deal done quickly).
Cash is king: Of course, an all-cash offer is always the most enticing offer in a bunch. This means a quick(er) closing time, no funding hold-ups, and eliminates delays because of unexpected situations, such as if the appraisal comes in lower than the offer.
Write a letter. Why not introduce yourself to a seller the old-fashioned way? I’ve seen many sellers who are heavily attached to their homes and want to “pass it down” to someone who will love it and care for it the same way they did. Maybe you’re looking for a new place to start your family, or a place to host your first Thanksgiving dinner, or are making your first big home purchase in the city. It certainly doesn’t hurt to put out a human-to-human appeal as to why you think you’re the just-right buyer for a home.
When in doubt, apply the golden rule: if you were selling, what would be important for you to get from a buyer?
If you’ve found yourself in the midst of a bidding war during your process of purchasing a Chicago home, give me a call. I’d love to work with you to find the right property and help navigate the offer process to get you in the home you truly want. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at