Bidding wars are typically associated with housing market conditions featuring high buyer demand and not enough available properties, but there are other situations in which listings may attract multiple bidders. When you combine economic growth with quality of life and attractive real estate, available listings can easily turn into everyone’s idea of dream homes, and this is what creates a sellers’ market. Under these conditions, scoring your dream condo in downtown San Diego can be a little more difficult because others have similar goals in mind. The following recommendations can make your real estate dreams easier to attain.
1. Clearly Define Your Idea of a Dream Home
Some house hunters become fixated on location, while others only think about aesthetics. Some look for trendy condominium towers, while others believe shared amenities are more important. Before you rush into putting an offer on a listing other buyers are pursuing, try to imagine living in that condominium, enjoying its amenities, and exploring the neighborhood. The vision should go beyond the big picture. It should be holistic.
2. Share Your Dreams with a Real Estate Agent
You may not want to do business with an agent who tells you, “These are the listings I have.” Instead, retain the services of an agent who agrees to notify you, say, when units in the Pacific Gate tower in the Marina District become available for under $3 million. Not all real estate professionals will agree to work in this fashion, which means you may have to shop around a bit.
3. Get a Mortgage Preapproval
Agents who represent San Diego sellers usually tell their clients to dismiss prospects who show up without mortgage preapproval documents, even if they’re high bidders. There’s a difference between being preapproved and prequalified. Sellers will always listen to bidders who are preapproved.
4. Make a Cash Offer
In February 2019, a loft just south of the Gaslamp Quarter and near Petco Park was listed for $269K. Assuming multiple bids were entered for this property, it would not be unreasonable to think the seller could be swayed with a cash offer of $250K as long as it’s properly backed up with a statement from an accountant. Cash offers made on San Diego condos aren’t as common as they were between 2015 and 2018, and they’re more likely to trump bids that have financing contingencies attached.
5. Eliminate Financing Contingencies
If you’re in a position to show cash but aren’t necessarily willing to use all of it at closing, you can waive the financing contingency on the purchase contract. Even if you have terrible credit, a mortgage lender will likely preapprove a deal with a 50 percent loan-to-value ratio.
6. Go Easy on Inspection Contingencies
Renovation projects can be incorporated into dream homes. If you fall in love with an older loft in Little Italy that you know will require some work, you may want to ease up on the inspection contingencies up to a certain amount. For example, you won’t modify your high bid unless the home inspector declares the property needs $10K worth of improvements to bring it up to code. In this instance, the lender may require you to have this much in cash at closing.
When you’re looking to buy your dream home, one of the smartest strategies you could employ is working with experienced agents who have in-depth knowledge about navigating real estate in downtown San Diego. Trust the friendly agents at 92101 Urban Living when you’re ready to find your perfect condo, loft, or penthouse in the downtown area of America’s Finest City. Give us a call at 619-649-0368 to schedule an appointment.