Finding that competitive edge

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Coming up with a competitive offer for a property can be challenging, especially with the limited number of homes that are on the market. To do that, it helps to have a plan.

The first step in meeting that challenge is to choose the right real estate broker and take their advice. You may have previous knowledge from your own research but trust the expert. They are there to help you through the process and take the stress off your back. Ask plenty of questions and let them know exactly what you are looking for.

Next, you must set a budget. The seller will probably want to negotiate on the offer so you must know how much you can spend. Getting pre-approved by your lender is the best way to figure out your finances. Less than 50% of homebuyers apply for pre-approval. Doing this early on sets you up for a smooth transaction as well as putting you ahead of the crowd. It shows sellers you are serious.

Once you know your budget, you must be ready to monitor the market. Properties of all kinds are moving very quickly. Checking multiple times a day will ensure you find the best place for your needs quickly. Taking advantage of the advanced filters and saved searches on home buying websites can help you find hidden gems. Your broker will be searching for you as well. Be prepared to work with your Broker to submit an offer early on.

You must make a fair offer. Even if you want a house for a certain price or think it is overpriced, you must be realistic. Check to see how much the seller has already come down in their price and go from there. Super low offers usually won’t be taken seriously, and the seller might consider someone else over you. Work with your broker to write up a proper offer and they will then submit it to the owner or owner’s representative.

After submitting an offer, it is good to be flexible. Be prepared for the seller to accept, reject or counter it. There are many ways to strengthen your offer with a higher down payment, offering over asking price, flexible move-in dates, all-cash offer, waiving certain contingencies, and more. Paying attention to the seller’s details can help you especially during this step in the process.

Being prepared in today’s market will set you up for success. A competitive offer will set you apart from the crowd and help you find the right home.

To contact me, call 708-583-8300, e-mail or visit, or follow me on social media @zerillorealty


About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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