March 2018: Buyer FAQs

With more than 30 years of real estate experience, we’ve worked with so many people to help locate a new home or property. For first time buyers as well as those who haven’t been “in the market” for a while, there are so many questions. Below are some of those we hear most often.

Q. Can I buy a home and sell mine at the same time?

A. Yes, and understanding that this is a balancing-act is a big part of minimizing the stress it can place on you.

In this situation, offers you make on another home as well as those you receive on your current home are considered “Contingent”. This simply means that in order to complete either transaction, the other has to occur within a reasonable amount of time. Although these situations are not new, they CAN place a lot of pressure on Buyers and Sellers, alike.

Most Realtors agree that the current  “Sellers market” in our region began in 2016.

With homes often selling within days, Sellers have enjoyed a strong advantage when considering who they want to do business with. If your offer to buy their home is contingent upon selling yours, it can make your offer much less attractive and less competitive. Understandably a Seller will often gravitate to non-contingent offers on their home.

When we begin working with a client, Sharon Quataert agents discuss options to help Buyers understand the market. We strive to help Buyers qualify as “Non-contingent” in order to expand their choices and ensure the experience of home buying a positive one. In the event that our client is buying and selling at the same time, our goal is coordinating both closings within a few days of each other. There are many variables and we counsel clients to have a “plan B” in place through these events. Although this requires a lot of effort from the agent and team Sharon Quataert Realty has enjoyed helping clients through the process for more than 30 years.

Q. We “fell in love” with the first home. How many homes SHOULD we see before making an offer?


A. This is a very personal choice and it’s important to understand that “shopping” today’s real estate market is much different that it was 20 years ago.

While the number of houses visited hasn’t changed drastically (10 homes visited, on average), the internet has changed almost every facet of this experience. As a buyer, you have the ability to search by city, neighborhood, construction-style of home and features with a few clicks of a mouse. In many cases you can even take a virtual tour of the home long before you see it in-person. While these steps don’t tell you everything, they can help the home buyer hone in on what they like.

If the first home you visit as a Buyer really feels like what you want, working with your Realtor to complete an offer is probably a good choice.

Q. What constitutes a “fair offer”? (aka. “How do I get a good deal without insulting the Seller?”)


A. This is a great question with a LOT of variables. Let’s address two of the most common.

  1. In an average housing market, homes most often go for 97% of the Seller’s listed price. This allows both parties to make some concessions and everyone involved completes the deal with their egos intact.
  2. In a Seller’s market, homes will often be transacted for the full list price or more if there are competing offers. In these situations, it’s often contributing situations that may affect the sale. Things like contingencies, pre-qualification letters and the Buyer having arrangements with their lender, shows the Seller that they really are ready to do business.

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