In 2020 I was finally in a position to purchase my first beach house. Covid hit and I was ready to pounce on plummeting prices. I waited a few months and - who could have guessed it - but prices skyrocketed.
I made solid offers on 5 properties at Topsail Island and an offer on a house in Oak Island. All were turned down. One of the offers was a $47,000 over asking price! Buyers are insane making offers from around the country, many times willing to pay in all cash. These buyers don't care about comparable properties. They don't care about appraisals. Sometimes, they don't even care about inspections and will take the house as-is. I have seen homes sell at over $100,000 above asking price.
In 2021 I was finally able to get an offer accepted. I used a combination of experience and suggestions from my good friend, Broker, and fellow beach house owner Eric Andrews. He recently made this video on making a strong purchase offer:
I highly recommend checking out Eric's site here for more videos and educational articles: https://www.ericandrewsrealtor.com/ (This is an honest review and for transparency: I have used Eric on 5 separate real estate transactions now).
Here is what worked for me:
- Zillow Alerts. I was on the phone with the listing agent in under 11 minutes after the house hit the market. The listing agent told me he was on the way to put a For Sale sign in the ground at the house. I knew immediately he didn't understand how hot the market was.
- Dual agency. I used the listing agent to buy. I know that agents are supposed to keep their buyer's best interests in mind, but, I mean, what agent isn't going to want that double commission?
- Due Diligence payment. First of all, I made this $20,000. Second, I made sure the agent knew I was overnighting it to him to present WITH the offer. Most agents don't care if it is included or not. I think that is absolutely ridiculous. Money talks.
- Fast closing. I wanted a fast closing.
- Price. I went $20,000 over asking. Many agents are using PAST sales to price houses. This is silly as the price continues to rise by the day. In this case, I knew the house would sell at $20k-$40k over asking. (It actually appraised for $10k more than I bought it for)
- Nice to tenant. The tenant needed to rent for 6 weeks. I told them they could have free rent until they left. I knew they were leaving as they had orders from the Marines.
- Pre-approved. Of course, I was pre-approved at the bank and had the letter in hand.
- Deadline. Finally, my offer was only good for 36hrs. The seller had until 5PM of the next business day to accept it or not.
If you are purchasing beach property in North Carolina in 2022 be prepared for war! Some savvy agents are listing prices very high to see what offers come in. Some agents are a bit behind the times and listing too low and the homes go into a bidding war. You will need to act fast and buy sight unseen unless you happen to already live at the beach. All experienced agents at the beach are already used to this and will do a video call with you if you ask them to.