Pro-tips for co-buying in competitive markets(Updated: )
At a glance
At CoBuy, we work closely with a network of CoBuy-certified™ Pros that includes real estate agents, lenders, attorneys, insurance professionals, and CPAs. Our ecosystem is collaborative and shares market intelligence in real-time. This model works well. Still, we love hitting the field first-hand. Over the last week, we’ve viewed 14 homes currently on the market, engaged with dozens of buyers and sellers, and even held an open house. The insights are telling.
How can co-buyers gain a competitive edge in the current market? Check out these pro-tips.
Pro-tip #1: Be prepared.
Sound simple? Let’s unpack what it means to be prepared. The buyers best positioned to beat out the competition have taken several critical steps before viewing a single property. These buyers have:
✅ Secured mortgage approval
✅ Defined clear search parameters, priorities, and bright lines
✅ Thoroughly researched each property to be viewed, often with a top-performing RE Agent’s assistance
Many buyers believe they’ve checked the boxes when they haven’t. We saw numerous instances where buyers:
❌ Had a pre-qualification letter but weren’t actually approved for financing
❌ Had not solidified key search parameters (e.g., budget, parking spaces, contingencies)
❌ Had not researched publicly available property data, where this info contained a deal-breaker
Field NoteActioning these steps enables you to move quickly, helps avoid “deal heat,” and telegraphs intent to the seller.
Pro-tip #2: Ask the right questions.
We recently spent time at a beautiful property on the market in Seattle with a stellar rooftop deck. In Seattle, it rains a lot. Of all the buyers we met, just one asked, “can you tell me about the drainage?” Trivial question? No! In short, this kind of roof is covered by a membrane. The membrane is waterproof and slopes downward. Ideally, the water flows off the roof and into a downspout. If the scuppers get plugged up, water sits on the top and leaks down slowly. The problem with leaks? Generally, you don’t know when you have one. In a worst-case scenario, the leak goes on for years and results in wood rot, water ants, and deterioration. Damages can amount to tens of thousands of dollars or more. Unfortunately, insurance often doesn’t cover such ‘slow leak’ issues: maintenance is on the homeowner.
This is just one example: every property is different. Buyers should not expect the MLS—let alone online real estate platforms—to list every relevant property detail.
Pro-tip #3: Execute like a boss.
Be quick. If a seller has options—today most do—telegraphing your intent by tabling a strong offer early creates a competitive advantage. How do we know? We’re seeing it now. Many sellers are giving added consideration to offers made within 48 hours of the home hitting the market. Why? Sellers want quality offers from serious buyers. The marketplace for homes is characterized by transactions between one-time counterparties. Buyers flake, financing doesn’t materialize, offers fall through.
Write a solid offer. The fine print in the Purchase and Sale Agreement matters. Competitive buyers often include a calibrated escalation clause in their offer. They also carefully weigh the benefits of waiving contingencies, paying particular attention to other “escape” language in the Purchase and Sale Agreement. CoBuy-certified™ Real Estate Agents guide CoBuyers through these elements before assisting to create and execute the most competitive offer achievable.
Buyers regularly underestimate the power of working with an exceptional team of real estate professionals. Realistically, most buyers are ill-equipped to gauge real estate professionals’ expertise. While it may seem reasonable to assess candidates based on how many transactions they have closed or how many years of experience they have, these data points are not complete. A closed transaction is not necessarily a successful transaction if a leaky roof goes undetected during the purchase. As for professional tenure—think about the number of career politicians who have more years of experience than impressive track records.
Co-buyers face greater complexity and require specialized support.
The good news is that it is possible to stand out from the competition. As a co-buyer, you’re paying the buyers’ agent, loan officer, and the other professionals involved in your purchase. You want to work with the best folks for the job, and it’s vital that they all work together effectively.
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