Advice From the Team to Win a Multiple Offer in 2021 in Seattle

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Homebuyers in Seattle are asking themselves how to win a multiple offer in the hot market that is 2021. The team (Rocky, Roy, Remington, Lindsy, and Kim) has some advice for ya'll to make sure you are in the driver's seat of your home buying journey.

How does one win a multiple offer in Seattle in the hot market that is 2021? That is the question we keep answering for our many Diva Dwellers aka Seattle homebuyers who are in this market right now. Last year Team Diva was able to assist more buyers into homes than the majority of the industry in Seattle. And the reason why is that we are deeply committed to helping Seattle homebuyers understand the home buying process, what their options are in this market, and coming up with a strategy to make sure their offer is the winning multiple offer in Seattle in 2021.

The key advice has been for all of our home buyers to solve the Size, Condition, or Location debate BEFORE making a million offers on homes that are not the right fit for them.

Let’s dig in and get some market-savvy advice from the team.

Team Diva’s Expert Advice for Winning a Multiple Offer in 2021

Winning a Multiple Offer in Seattle in 2021

Our team has some savvy advice for homebuyers who want to win a home in Seattle during this hot 2021 buying season. With some savvy know-how and a Diva Team Member behind you, you too can be living out your Diva Dweller dreams this year. Let’s get to it and get you some good advice.


Kim’s Advice on How to Win a Multiple Offer in 2021 in Seattle

Kim’s Advice for Winning a Multiple Offer in Seattle Real Estate

Kim is our lead listing broker and often sees the types of offers people make on homes. She also still works with a few buyers who have been with her for years. Kim has that secret ability to really help people focus on exactly what they want and to make smart choices to get to that successful point.

Which one of your buyers is winning in this market? Who are they and what did they buy?

My buyers Alison and Joe are the type of buyers who seem to win in any market. I have been working with them for 10 years and they are incredibly savvy in the home buying market. They were looking to make a move into their 4th home. This time they really wanted to find their “forever home.” This would be the home they would raise their two kids and live in until it was time to downsize again. So 15+ years. They already were living in a small home in Ravenna and wanted to stay in the Ravenna/Wedgwood neighborhood if at all possible but still find a larger home. They bought a mid-century home in their dream neighborhood that is just the right size for them and their two kids, and one day maybe a puppy!

What were their compromises on the Location, Condition, or Size conversation?

Alison and Joe truly take the “Size, Location, Condition” concept to heart. Every move they have made they have thought through which of these three they were willing to compromise to work their way up to their “forever” home. This time they knew that size and location were going to be most important to them since they were looking for a home they could live in for 10-15 years. So, they compromised on condition. They bought a home that definitely needed some TLC but after years as a homeowner, they are pretty handy and savvy and knew this was the best compromise to make. Remodeling and swanking up a home was easier than adding on, so size was a must. And you can always change a kitchen or fix a roof but location was one thing they were not willing to compromise this time.

How much over asking did they have to pay in order to win?

The positive thing about choosing a home that needs work is that you have significantly less competition. So they not only did not have to pay over asking, but they were also able to find a home that had been lingering on the market and were able to negotiate closing costs back for some of the necessary repairs on the home.

What is your Diva/Diva Dude advice to those who want to become homeowners this spring in Seattle?

Homeownership is a lifelong process of building wealth and stability. Sometimes it is super tough for first-time homebuyers to see the benefit of compromising on their first purchase to build up equity. In a market like Seattle and the surrounding area, it is incredibly important to embrace the “Size, Location, Condition” concept. You really ONLY get two and even with that in mind, sometimes there are compromises within those aspects you may want to consider.

Alison and Joe are the perfect examples of how to build up wealth and equity even in a tough Seattle market and without starting from a place of wealth from the beginning. They started with a dated condo in a decent location, then moved to a modest home in a less than hot location, then their next home was only slightly bigger but closer to the neighborhood they wanted to live in and now they finally were able to get the home they can live in for as long as they need and want. But at every move, a compromise was made. Sometimes location, sometimes size, sometimes condition. And sometimes, a little on all fronts. But in less than 10 years they moved from a $200K condo to an $800K home and have never had to pay over full price or compete in a multiple offer. If that’s not winning as a buyer, I don’t know what is!


Rocky’s Advice on How to Win a Multiple Offer in Seattle in 2021

Winning a Multiple Offer in Seattle Real Estate

Rocky’s Advice for Winning a Multiple Offer in Seattle Real Estate

Rocky loves working with home buyers. He loves the passion of seeing his client find the home they love and making sure it works for them. Let’s dig into his clients’ success story for winning in this market.

Which one of your buyers is winning in this market? Who are they and what did they buy?

Drew and Kaitlyn bought a beautiful home on a large lot in Maple Leaf. An added bonus is that a future Roosevelt Light Rail Station is at the edge of their max distance they wanted to live from it.

What were their compromises on the Location, Condition, or Size conversation?

They actually found a home that was mostly perfect for them. Condition is probably what they compromised on most for this. The layout was a little odd for the average couple with family plans on the horizon. But they figured out how they could make it work in the short term. The house has an opportunity for some changes so their family can grow, but those changes would not need to be made for 5-7 years.

How much over asking did they have to pay in order to win?

8% over asking.

What is your Diva/Diva Dude advice to those who want to become homeowners this spring in Seattle?

For the time being, the struggle is going to be real for anyone buying single-family homes in Seattle, especially in hot neighborhoods. Buyers should decide if they are willing to buy a townhome instead of a single-family home in a neighborhood they love. That way they can buy something more affordable, build their equity and use it to upgrade in a few years. But… I feel the real potential for winning in this market is folks that are willing to buy a condo.

The condo market has tamed drastically from recent years and interest rates are still historically low. There’s plenty of condo inventory to choose from and room to negotiate on terms. I know downpayment is a challenge for most first-time home buyers. Can you get a loan or a gift from a family member, cash-out stocks, borrow against your 401k? It would be a good idea to investigate grants from first-time homebuyer programs. There are a lot of them out there. Do what you can to make it work right now.

Rents are going to go back up eventually and with a mortgage, you can have control over your monthly payment. Same as townhomes—buy low now, and as prices go back up over the next few years, you can use that equity to upgrade to your next home. Do not be afraid to talk to a lender and ask, “What do I need to make this work?”


Roy’s Advice on How to Win a Multiple Offer in Seattle in 2021

Roy’s Advice for Winning a Multiple Offer in Seattle Real Estate

Roy gets deep and personal into his Diva Dwellers’ home buying journey. And he knows what it takes to win a multiple offer in 2021 in Seattle. Roy’s homebuyers are super educated about the process, they know what their money can buy them, and they are ready to dig in.

Which one of your buyers is winning in this market? Who are they and what did they buy?

Erica was a referral from a good friend and fellow Diva Dweller Vanessa. She was living in a studio apartment on the hill and was ready for more space. We looked at four homes and she fell in love with a townhouse on Beacon Hill built in the 1940s. It is 3 beds, 2 baths, super charming and has a parking spot. She paid full price and actually won over another offer that the sellers had countered. The sellers also agreed to rewire the home to get rid of the old knob and tube wiring.

What were their compromises on the Location, Condition, or Size conversation?

The location was the only real compromise but after doing some digging she realized that it’s actually in a really great spot for her lifestyle. She wanted to be closer to the commercial part of Beacon Hill but this home suits her just fine. The condition would have been an issue but the sellers stepped up to fix the glaring problems.

How much over asking did they have to pay in order to win?

$0.00! The other offer on the table had less favorable terms so we were able to write a full-priced offer with modest contingencies (including inspection and financing) and still won! We had looked briefly at single-family homes and Erica knew that she didn’t want to pay those prices or compete that hard for lesser quality or size so we pivoted early to looking for condos and townhouses.

What is your Diva/Diva Dude advice to those who want to become homeowners this spring in Seattle?

Everyone right now is looking for single-family homes. The dream of a big yard is pretty large in most peoples’ minds. They also want a great location in their preferred neighborhoods. Now is the time to make a choice. Live close to your preferred neighborhood in a condo or townhouse OR buy a single-family home for 10% to 20% over asking. There are a lot of great townhouses and condo options that can be had with minimal competition.

Also, the list price is just a suggestion from the listing broker and the seller. That is the price they reasonably want to sell their home for. The buyers you are competing against are the ones that set the final purchase price. In our current market, I am seeing homes sell for $100,000 over asking at almost every price point. These final sale price numbers don’t get recorded until closing which is typically 30 days after the fact. So our market is jumping up and up and up and not showing it for 30 days. Right now people are scrambling to find homes and it is building a lot of mania. Trust your realtor to help you navigate the market and really think through what is most important for you in purchasing a home.


Remington’s Advice on How to Win a Multiple Offer in Seattle in 2021

Remington’s Advice for Winning a Multiple Offer in Seattle Real Estate

Which one of your buyers is winning in this market? Who are they and what did they buy?

My client Daryl was moving back to Seattle from Texas and was interested in a townhome in Central or South Seattle.

We found a great 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhome in Columbia City which was one of his desired areas.

What were their compromises on the Location, Condition, or Size conversation?

We found the perfect townhome without the need to compromise on location, size, or condition.

How much over asking did they have to pay in order to win?

We were able to get the home for the listing price, as it was a new construction townhome recently on the market and there were also 2 other units available in the complex.

What is your Diva/Diva Dude advice to those who want to become homeowners this spring in Seattle?

In this current market, single-family homes are the most competitive. We are seeing consistent multiple offers for single-family homes with high escalations. Most single-family homes in any area are going for 10%+ of the listing price. If you are going to compete for a single-family home, look for homes roughly $100,000 or below your max and be prepared to do your due-diligence to win the home.

I  would strongly suggest looking into condos or townhomes. Currently, the condo market is down and you can likely get a deal for under the list price.

Similar to townhomes as well, there are a ton of new townhomes coming on the market and if they are new construction there is often the opportunity to write an offer without competition and often there are units off-market that you can write on as well!


Lindsy’s Advice on How to Win a Multiple Offer in Seattle in 2021

Lindsy’s Advice for Winning a Multiple Offer in Seattle Real Estate

Power Diva Lindsy was a quick learner in during our summer cohort last year. She quickly learned our process to assist clients and help them win the homes that are the best fit for themselves. Below is some advice she has for her Diva Dwellers.

Which one of your buyers is winning in this market? Who are they and what did they buy?

In December, my clients Demetrius and Deva (whom I’ve known for almost 15 years) won a multiple offer situation in Federal Way. Demetrius works in construction for the city of Seattle and Deva works as an in-home caregiver in Bellevue/Kirkland. Neither of them has ever lived in a “single-family home” so this was very special for the entire family. They got a beautiful 2,300-square-foot home on a 10,000+ square-foot lot, completely remolded from top to bottom; everything was new. I even got them $5k toward the closing cost for chimney work.

What were their compromises on the Location, Condition, or Size conversation?

They were much more focused on size and location. With Demetrius working in construction, he was more than willing to do repairs and roll up his sleeves.

How much over asking did they have to pay in order to win?

$35,000 over the asking price. This home got 3 offers and we were only $5,000 over the next best offer and they waived inspection and we did not. The reason the broker said she picked us is that our offer was well written, I kept very tight communication and explained how I handle the appraisal process. Many times throughout the transaction she would say “I am so, so glad we picked you guys!”

What is your Diva/Diva Dude advice to those who want to become homeowners this spring in Seattle?

Take time to learn the market and process, and education is key! Also having a very good lender is just as important as a good broker! Don’t be discouraged if a few offers don’t get accepted; keep going, there is always another house! Also be flexible to change your search area or criteria a bit, being open to conversation, and looking at this purchase as more of an investment than the “dream home.”


Team Diva’s Guide on How to Win a Multiple Offer

Winning Multiple Offers

Winning Multiple Offers

Seattle’s sustained hot market does not seem to be going away anytime soon. Seattle has a limited amount of space to build new homes and our dysfunctional system to allow for urban density is putting additional pressure on many Seattle home buyers. Regardless, we have a plan to help you manage to buy a home in a multiple offer market.

Here Are the Steps Our Clients Follow to Win a Home in Seattle in 2021

  1. Solve the Size, Condition, and/or Location Compromise 
  2. Get Your Financing in Order
  3. Find an Experienced Agent Who Will Go the Distance With You
  4. The Search – Look for a home that is 10% to 20% below your approved purchase amount
  5. Prepare to Make a Smart Offer
  6. Make the Best Offer You Can Make – Don’t Hold Back!

Thank you for taking the time to read through these success stories. Just understand that your parents and grandparents paid 11% in mortgage interest rates. You buying a home at a 3-5% interest rate is a gift. And this also puts intense pressure on our market. Just know that our team is here to guide you and make sure you win a house in Seattle in 2021.

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