In the past few years Sonoma County, like many other areas across the United States, has been experiencing a heavy seller’s market. Low inventory has created a tighter market for buyers. In a highly competitive housing market, you want – and need – your offer to stand a good chance of acceptance, right? You have likely been searching online for some time – creating a wish list, perhaps even attending open houses. Currently, with so many Internet-savvy consumers and multiple real estate websites from which to choose, I find that most of my clients, once they are bit with the bug to buy a home, become hooked on websites like Zillow, Trulia and Redfin. Who doesn’t love to look at beautiful homes and dream?

As a Realtor, I become your partner. Do you have a home to sell before you can buy another one? In a tight market, it is often preferable to sell your existing residence before making an offer to purchase another, but that is not always possible. I will speak with you about options for making an offer contingent upon the sale of your current home. Together, we will strategize and come up with a plan. Do you have a specific neighborhood that interests you? We will discuss neighborhood amenities, home prices, characteristics of homes that might interest you and much more. Unless you are a cash buyer, I will encourage you to get preapproved for a mortgage. I will give you a referral to a loan officer I have worked with successfully in the past, if you like. Once preapproved, we are better able to tailor our search to the properties that you can purchase. An offer with a preapproval letter attached to it becomes more desirable.

Review the listings I send you immediately and be ready to look at the property if it interests you right away. Currently, it is not unusual in Sonoma County for offer-review-dates to be scheduled within one week of listing. So you must be ready to make a decision quickly. Offers must be competitive. Do you really want this house? In a market such as we have been experiencing, offers less than your “best and highest” will be passed over. I can guide you in this by providing you with a comparative market analysis that takes into consideration many factors. And there are ways to make an offer competitive beyond purchase price. We will talk about that.

Just because a house garners multiple offers does not mean it is the best house out there. It is easy to get caught up in “buyer’s frenzy” and set aside objective reasoning. When the madness begins, step back, take stock, and review your goals – is this the house you love? What indispensable feature or features does this house possess? How will you feel about owning this house one year later? How about 5 years later? A Realtor doing her job will help you visualize the future when all you can feel right now is the frenzy of the moment. I’m that Realtor.