6 tips to be a competitive homebuyer in a seller’s market

Position yourself as a strong contender that can move when the moment is right with these proven tactics

Are you ready to buy in this crazy hot market? Here are ways to make yourself a more competitive buyer in a seller’s market.

With so many buyers on the hunt, it is important to keep an open mind when searching the market. It is important to set your expectations that the top end of the search price range should be significantly under the top end of the budget. Making sure you are open to touring unexpected neighborhoods, it is worth it to explore adjacent areas with less interest.

A key in this market is getting pre-underwritten. it is worth the substantial; legwork compared to pre-approval but in the end, you will need to do the legwork to finalize your loan. This will provide you confidence in your budget in turn providing the seller more confidence that your funding will come through. With today’s lower mortgage interest rates, their month-to-month mortgage payment even with PMI factored in may be very reasonable.

Making it easy for the seller will go a long way, it is more important to send a string email summary with your offer and follow up consistently. Always start with your strongest offer, instead of testing the bottom where the seller won’t even consider countering, they will just move on.

Being ready to offer quickly is also key to winning in a competitive market, and considering these tips before you find the home you want to buy will help you feel ready to jump when the moment arrives.

To read more about ways to be a competitive homebuyer in this intense market, read the following article by Inman Content Studio.


Your Retirement Savings Account: Things you must grasp about it well before you retire

Do you understand whether or not your retirement savings will ever get taxed, or when that happens?  What exactly are mandatory withdrawals, and when do they start?  How to best leave retirement savings to your heirs?  If your grasp is fuzzy on any of these questions, then read on:

TAXES:  Unless your tax-sheltered retirement savings account is a ROTH type, then any money that you withdraw from it definitely will be taxed.  The government set this deal up for you (and it is a good deal, because it allows your money to grow faster) to encourage you to save…but eventually Uncle Sam wants his share, since your contributions were made with untaxed income.   (With a ROTH account, however, you’ve contributed net income, not gross.  Since you’ve already paid taxes, you won’t pay any more when you withdraw.)

MANDATORY WITHDRAWALS:  Once you hit age 70½, you must start withdrawing—and paying taxes on any money you’ve withdrawn (unless it’s a ROTH).   The minimum withdrawal at that age is only 3.65% of the total balance, but it increases gradually with each year.  However if you live to be 100, the minimum withdrawal is still only 15.87% of the total.  (No mandatory withdrawals are required for ROTH accounts.)

LEAVING $$ TO HEIRS:  Therefore, if you only withdraw the required minimum over the years, you can leave the rest to your children—who will then have to pay tax on their withdrawals.  Before Congress recently changed the law, your children were able to spread the withdrawals over their lifetimes, but now they must drain the accounts completely within ten years of inheriting it.  (Your children will not have to pay any taxes on withdrawals from a ROTH account.)

ROTH:  These accounts have definite advantages, and if you can afford to contribute net rather than gross income you may prefer to do that.  (Ask your tax professional if it makes sense for you.) However if you decide not to go with a Roth, know that traditional non-Roth savings accounts are still wonderful vehicles for saving for your retirement. 

For more details, read Liz Weston’s complete article: