Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Best Time to make an Offer - On Austin Real Estate

In considering the "Best time to make an offer" there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all and most importantly, if you can make an offer when there is no competition--your Realtor has more leverage to negotiate on your behalf. Making an offer when there are no other bidders can be as simple as jumping on an opportunity as soon as it hits the market or making an offer on the right day of the week. Most buyers know the right property for them within minutes of seeing it and the prudent buyers are the ones that are ready to make an offer within a few hours of finding the right home--not a few days. The longer you wait the more likely someone else is going to find the same house and make an offer ahead of you--especially in today's market here in Austin. 

Here are some times that may be ideal to make an offer:
  • There are "low times" almost every quarter when you may be one of just a few people out looking on that day. For example, when there are major sporting events going on in town or on TV--fewer buyers are out looking at homes.  
  • Buying a finished inventory home from a builder can sometimes give you an advantage--especially if it has been sitting idle for more than 60 days. All builders have different financial triggers, so you will need a savvy Realtor to help you determine what motivates a given builder and when the best deals can be made. 
  • 30 days after school starts in the fall can be a good time to find a deal from a seller who did not sell in the peak season. Remember: not all sellers are desperate or have to sell. Each situation has to be taken as a unique opportunity. You and your Realtor should form a strategy for the offer. 
  • Making an offer Tuesday through Thursday can be a good strategy, but if you find a house on a Friday and then you wait until Tuesday to make an offer, you may be disappointed--as the same things that you liked about the property may be attractive to other buyers also and waiting may cost you the house--even in a "slow market".
  • Making an aggressive offer on a house that has been listed above market value for more than 90 days can be a good strategy in certain situations. If you wait until the house comes down in price to market value you should expect more competition. 
  • When Interest Rates are low. If your objective is to save money, current interest rates under 4% will save you more money over time than even the best Real Estate negotiations will bring back to you. I have written a lot on this subject and the benefits are huge.  
  • Short Sales may be a good opportunity, but only if you have lots of time and a great deal of patience. Getting a short sale can take many months and may require making many offers on properties before you get a bank to start negotiating over your offer. These are the most difficult and convoluted of today's real estate transactions. Anyone who tells you that short sales is easy has never purchased a short sale (you can search this site for more on short sale challenges).
In the end, there are always opportunities to be uncovered. Find the right Realtor. Then partner with your Realtor to find the right area of town for you. Then work with your Realtor to find a home that you connect with emotionally. If your Realtor is smart and a good business person, you could be in your new home in a matter of weeks. And if you haven't found a good Realtor in Austin that you can trust with your new home purchase, Let's Talk. I would be happy to help you with your home purchase.

Tim Thornton, Realtor ®
Top Producer 2010, 2009, 2008
Century Club member

Zip Realty, Inc.
Austin, Texas
(512) 914.4665 


  1. I think making any financial commitment, the first and major factor to do is to build a objective in mind.

    Jardin Smith International

  2. Thanks for the great advice. My husband and I were talking and just wondering if it's better to just make an offer on a home or get building supplies in Toronto and build our own home. I feel like right now supplies is cheap and that way we get to design a house exactly how we want. What do you think?

  3. I can't speak to the cost of building materials in Toronto, and every Real Estate market is unique, so what I say about the Austin market may or may not hold true for your market in Toronto. However, I can say a few things about this very common question. 1) The cost to build a new home is seldom as cheap as buying a resell house. The cost of living goes up and so does the cost of building supplies 2) The cost of labor to build a home is going up and as we seem to be getting back into a building boom in the USA, this should increase, not decrease.

    If you are a licensed contractor and capable of building your own home, this may be a very different story, but in general, building your own "custom" home is almost always more expensive than buying a resell or even buying an inventory from a national builder whose material costs are half of what you can pay for the same supplies at retail prices.

    There are advantages to buying new or building that may outweigh all of these factors. New appliances. New roof. New flooring. New AC. Better energy efficiencies. All of these things have to be taken into account.

    Good luck with your new home planning! tT


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