How to Get Your Offer Accepted in This Market

 Getting your offer accepted in today’s market is harder than it used to be. Here are a few ways that you can edge out the competition.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Want to know what your home is worth in today's market?
Check out our Free Online Home Price Estimater Tool.
Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

I was recently interviewed on the radio by Justin Barclay of Wood Radio 1300 and we talked about the different ways that a buyer can get their offer accepted in this very challenging market. I encourage you to listen to the entire interview, but here are a few of the most important tips from our conversation: 1. Get a pre-approval letter. Looking at properties without one just doesn’t make sense anymore. Consider this: When a seller puts a home on the market, they get it ready by cleaning, staging, and photographing it. Whenever a showing is scheduled, the homeowner spends days getting it ready. Imagine their disappointment to know that a buyer was let in the home that couldn’t simply take the few hours to get a pre-approval. It’s not only a proactive measure for buyers to know the amount you can afford, but it’s also beneficial to the seller by letting them know that the buyer can afford the home and is serious about buying.

 Shortening the inspection period lets the seller know that you mean business.

2. Give the seller an occupancy period. This is when you allow the seller extra time in the home after closing. They may need it, considering they might also be purchasing a home themselves. This can go a long way in getting your offer accepted. 3. Reduce your due diligence period. In West Michigan, homebuyers typically get 10 days to have their inspections done during this period. If you shorten this up to five days or fewer, it gives the seller more confidence that the home will close on time. If you have any questions about any of these tips or you need any real estate-related advice, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email.

What Would You Like to Learn About?

I’ve been trying to provide you with content that I thought you’d find valuable, but today, I’d like to know what YOU want to learn about.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

Over the last five or six years, I’ve made videos about topics ranging from the state of the real estate market to how to hire a listing agent. Hopefully the content I’ve delivered has been valuable to you, but the truth is I’m not really sure. That leads me to today’s topic, which is a favor in the form of a question: “What would you like to know about?” Would you be open to telling me what you’d like to learn about? I’ve made some speculations that my past topics are the topics that you’d like to know about, but I’d rather just ask you.
 I’ve made some speculations that my past topics are the topics that you’d like to know about, but I’d rather just ask you.

If there’s a topic you’d like me to address, feel free to reach out to me or reply back to this email. If I choose your topic, I’ll send you a gift card as my way of saying thank you for your response and helping me provide you with valuable content. I promise that I will put out insightful, accurate, and concise information that is in response to your questions. Please, let me know how I can best serve you. I wish you all the best in 2018, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Don’t Believe This Big Myth About VA Loans

Many people believe that because VA loans offer 100% financing to their borrowers, they aren’t as qualified as other buyers. The facts don’t support this assumption, though. 

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

The reason I’m joined today by John Seville, loan officer and branch manager of Benchmark Mortgage, is to dispel a common myth surrounding VA loans. From a real estate perspective, and with listing agents especially, there tends to be a stigma surrounding VA loans. If we get four or five offers for one of our listings, for example, and one of those offers has VA financing, we may be less inclined to accept that offer. According to John, that perception is very common in the marketplace, and the most common myth associated with VA loans is because it offers 100% financing to the buyer, that buyer must not be as good of a buyer as other buyers who have more standard financing options like a conventional loan. This simply isn’t the case, though. The average FICO score of a VA borrower is 741, which is about 20 points higher than the average score of a conventional borrower.

A VA buyer has—on average—more in their bank account than a conventional buyer.

“The myth that 0% down means not as good of a buyer is simply not accurate,” John says. The disconnect here is the belief that someone who has 100% financing must have no money in their bank account. In reality, a VA buyer has—on average—more in their bank account than a conventional buyer. Additionally, VA borrowers still put money down 30% of the time even though they have the option of 100% financing. If you have any more mortgage questions for John, you can call him at (616) 965-2504 or visit his website at If you have any other real estate questions or needs I can assist you with, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’d love to help you.

Grand Rapids Real Estate: Market Update

Our market has seen a lot of ups and downs over the last few years. Here are the numbers you need to know for future reference. 

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

I’ve been waiting for some market data to come in lately and it’s finally here. My nerds and I over here crunched some numbers and put together a snapshot of the current market, as well as a forecast on where the market is headed.

Let’s begin by showing you how the market has been the last few years. In June 2015, we saw a peak average sale price of $178,000, then a bottoming to $156,496 in January 2016. By June 2016, our average price peaked again at $185,000. In February 2017, it bottomed out again at $163,000.

Our latest peak was in June 2017. This was the first time in history that our average sale price rose above $200,000 ($201,0000). The average sale price right now is $183,000. Based on what we’ve seen in the past few years, I’m fairly certain that we are going to see an average sale price between $203,000 and $209,000 this summer.

Our market is set for another peak this summer.

If you take a look at a graph of the market over the last few years (like the one in the video above), you’ll see that instead of sharp peaks and valleys, we’re seeing more of a fluid parabola with a lot of ups and downs. The good news is that by following recent trends, you can get ahead of the market.

If you’re interested in getting involved in this record market, feel free to reach out and give us a call. Your sale price will mostly depend on what other homes in your area are selling for. If you’re curious about what homes are selling for in your market or you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.