AgentIndustry VoicesOpinion

Creative offer structuring in a low inventory market

Ideas for structuring offers that get buyers to the closing table

Inhale. Exhale. Evaluate. Strategize. This is the message I am conveying at the start of what is clearly shaping up to be another wild ride in the real estate industry for 2022. Seller’s market? Inventory shortage? Inflation? Rate increases? Guideline and investor changes? Yes, to all the above! That’s why we must get creative with how offers are being structured.

How are buyers and agents gaining valuable traction in this ever-evolving market? They’re shifting their mindsets, getting creative and aligning themselves with key players and partners to ensure they are winning offers and securing more listings.

Agents and buyers must adjust by finding new ways to get pools of buyers to the closing table. One of the many ways we’re seeing this accomplished is in how offers are being structured.

Thoughts on the current market

Buyers are electing to waive inspection contingencies and offering to pay over the appraised value to entice sellers to move their offer to the top of the offer piles. While the method has surely proven beneficial for the sellers, it can be a slippery slope especially for some first-time homebuyers if they’re not fully educated on what these specific clauses truly mean and how it can affect them.

I mean, isn’t part of the fun in buying a home having your dad come along and point out every crack in the ceiling? In all seriousness, gaining a competitive advantage in this housing market can lead to some creative thinking on the agent’s part.

With most homes being listed attracting multiple offers within days, there has also been an increase in cash buyers which further makes navigation in this crazy market that much more difficult.

Cash-out refis used for second homes

Many homeowners have taken advantage of the historical low interest rates and capitalized on the equity in their homes by doing a cash-out refinance and using the proceeds to purchase the next home in cash. This has led to an increase in second home and investment purchases, which I believe we may see slow down just a bit in 2022 due to recent changes in that space pertaining to pricing.

Agents have been able to leverage their past book of business and, along with their lender partners, leverage their expertise on equity and cash-out refinance and go after a new demographic of buyers that may not have purchased multiple homes otherwise.

The market shifts have given light to the importance of relationships, as well. It’s always important to surround yourself with a trusted team of experts, but in this climate, it is imperative to have strong alliances with those that can help you get to the finish line.

This means ensuring all parties in the home-buying process fully understand the complexities of this market, are industry leaders and can ultimately lead to more homeowners getting to the closing table.

There is no room for error in this market, and if you’re looking to truly succeed, you will quickly learn that innovation, forward-thinking and strong relationships are going to give you that edge needed to win more and lose less. Cheers to continuing to evolve and finding new ways to help our communities gain more homeowners!

Tracy Chongling is the vice president of lending at Guaranteed Rate in Delaware.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of RealTrends’ editorial department and its owners.

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Tracy Chongling at

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Tracey Velt at