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In a sellers market, homes - especially the ones that are well priced - disappear just as quickly as they appear on the MLS. As markets heat up across the country, buyers should know that the first to the table doesn’t always come out the winner. Here are a few tips to make sure your offer gets noticed.

Keep it Simple: Sellers today want the sale to be void of too many complicated contingencies. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should give up on things that are important to you as a buyer. Rather, make sure your offer is reasonable and doesn’t put too much weight on small issues that would distract the seller from what is otherwise a reasonable offer.

Go High on the Down Payment: Before you make an offer, contact a local mortgage broker - preferably one who has worked with your agent before - to get pre-approved for a loan. Once you know how much financing you’ve secured, you’ll be able to estimate how much you can put down on a home. And the larger the down payment, the stronger the offer.

Be a Know It All: In the best way possible. Typically, listings have a disclosure package which details listing price, inspection reports, seller disclosures and other items that can influence the offer. Have your agent review the disclosure package so that together, you can develop an offer that meets both yours and the seller's needs.

Come in with Cash: Not everyone will be able to purchase a house with cash alone. But if you can, you should. Sellers prefer cash offers because they take the risk out of the home not appraising or the loan falling through.

Write a Love Letter: Writing a personal letter to the seller is a new trend that has emerged over the years. And it’s proving effective. Explain what attracts you to the home, what you love about the neighborhood and how you hope to make their home your new humble abode. It’s an especially helpful tactic if you can find commonalities between you and seller.

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