Tips for staying competitive

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Coming up with a competitive offer for a property can be challenging. Today’s market is constantly changing and with a limited number of homes available, you need to seek professional advice and be realistic about your expectations.

First and foremost, you need to choose the right real estate broker and take his or her advice. You may have previous knowledge from your own research, but in the end, you need to trust the expert. Buying a house can be an extremely emotional process. Your realtor is there to help you through the ups and downs and take some of the weight off your shoulders. Let them know exactly what you are looking for and ask plenty of question on your way to your offer.

Next, you have to set a budget. More than likely, the seller will want to negotiate the price upward so you have to know going in how much you can spend. Getting pre-approved by your lender is the best way to figure that out. Less than 50 precent of home buyers plan on applying for pre-approval. That’s huge mistake. Doing this early on sets you up for a smooth transaction and places you ahead of the pack. It shows sellers you are serious.

Once you know your budget, you have to be ready to comb the market for your dream home. Properties are entering and leaving the market at an incredible rate. Checking several times a day will help you find the best place for your needs. 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 read to move quickly when the opportunity presents itself.

You must make a fair offer. Even if you want a house for a certain price or think it is overpriced, you have to 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’s 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 be helpful.

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

To contact me, call 708-583-8300, e-mail or visit


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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