You’ve found your dream house– but so have five other people.  How do you insure that you get it?  Here are some tips:

1.  Hire a Good Local Agent: A great local agent has relationships with everyone from the listing agent to the inspector.  Sellers want, more than anything, a smooth transaction: having a known, knowledgeable agent will get you far.

2.  Find a Lender– And Stay in Touch: Before you make an offer, make sure that you have a loan to back you up.  After you’re approved, stay in touch with your lender to make sure there aren’t any surprises.  If you have all of your ducks in a row, a seller and your agent will appreciate it.

3.  Don’t Wait: When you find the property and know it, don’t wait around longer than you need to.  Show the seller that you’re motivated and serious by making a serious offer quickly– this will display a willingness to buy.

4.  Clean Up Your Offer: The highest bidder doesn’t always win the war– indeed, it’s often conditions that are most important.  Be mindful of the seller’s needs: if they need a quick or slow sale, make sure they know that you’re willing to move or wait.

5.  Presentation is Key: Make sure your agent delivers the offer in a professional manner.  Include a pre-approval letter from your lender and a cover letter from your agent.  Make sure that you are seen as professional and motivated– as the ideal buyer.