I’ve talked before about how the Boston condo market moves lightning-quick. It’s an extremely competitive market, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Properly priced condos put on the market are snatched up sometimes even the same day. With so much traffic, many San Francisco home buyers are worried that their offer will get lost in a crowd. With more buyers than condos, buyers feel a very strong fear of losing out.

How to Win in a Competitive Real Estate Market

To avoid that — and to make sure that when you find your dream Boston condo, your offer gets noticed — there are a few extra things you can do to boost your chances. Here are my tips for winning in a competitive market, and making sure that your offer is the one that succeeds.

#1. Don’t Low-Ball

This tip is pretty straight-forward, but all too often I see potential buyers failing to heed it. Boston proper is very much a seller’s market, and the offer that gets chosen is definitely going to be a competitive one. Low-balling the asking price, or even low-balling the expected selling price by failing to factor a sufficient increase for the other likely bids, is a sure-fire way to get your offer lost in the discard pile.

#2. Get Pre-Approved for Financing

Any seller wants a guaranteed sale upon accepting an offer. Taking a chance on something uncertain can leave them high-and-dry, and passing on other bids that might have come through. Don’t let your offer be a dice roll. If you get pre-approved for financing, you add a layer of certainty to your offer that many others might lack. That makes yours particularly attractive to any seller, but that’s even more true in the Boston condo real estate market.

#3. Offer a Quick Sign Purchase & Sales Agreement (P&S)

As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, sellers are often eager to close a sale as quickly as possible. If your offer helps them make that happen, it instantly jumps to their shortlist. For a faster signed P&S, be sure to respond promptly to your loan officer, and keep all required documentation somewhere handy. This includes pay stubs and other statements of account, as well as a variety of other paperwork. Even if you submitted it as part of your loan approval pre-process, it’s still important to have those handy. In some cases, your loan can begin the process of being underwritten prior to closing a contract, potentially shaving weeks off your sale timeline.

#4. Keep it Simple

The more complicated your offer is, often the more likely that a simpler, more straightforward offer will beat yours out. To that end, you’d be well advised to eliminate as many of the contingencies as possible. If you’re in a position to offer cash, even better. That helps ensure that the sale will close quickly and smoothly, with minimal fuss. You can always go back and get a mortgage after you own the condo, Since most buyers aren’t in a position to fill the entire sale in cash, an exceptionally large down payment (say, 30-40%) can be another way of keeping things simple, as well as confirming that you’ll have no trouble getting a mortgage.

#5. Hire an Expert Boston Real Estate Broker

This is the absolute most important step to making sure your offer gets noticed. A Boston real estate expert will be able to guide you through all the ins and outs of the sale to be sure that your offer comes out ahead of the pack. Using a freind from the suburbs without any aknowledge of the Boston condo market is big disadvantage to you as a buyer.