Roberta Oswald | St. Helena Real Estate, Calistoga Real Estate, Yountville Real Estate


Looking to put together an offer on a house? Ultimately, you'll want to submit a competitive first offer. By doing so, you can speed up the process of acquiring your dream residence.

When it comes to submitting a competitive home offer, however, it is important to understand what differentiates a "fair" proposal from a subpar one.

To better understand how to submit a competitive proposal, let's take a look at three best practices that every homebuyer needs to consider before making an offer on a house.

1. Evaluate the Housing Market

If you plan to buy a house, you'll want to examine the real estate market closely. That way, you can identify housing market patterns and trends and plan accordingly.

For example, if you find there is an abundance of high-quality houses available, you may be entering a buyer's market. In this market, there likely is a shortage of homebuyers, which means a competitive offer at or near a home seller's asking price is sure to grab this individual's attention.

On the other hand, if you notice that homes are selling quickly in a city or town, you may need to prepare for a seller's market. If you pursue houses in a seller's market, you may need to act quickly due to the sheer volume of buyers competing for the same residences.

Clearly, a comprehensive housing market analysis can make a world of difference for homebuyers. With in-depth housing market insights at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to submit a competitive first offer on any residence, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

What good is a competitive home offer if you cannot afford to buy a residence? If you secure a home loan, you can narrow your home search to properties that you can afford. Then, you'll be able to submit a competitive offer that ensures you won't have to break your budget to purchase your dream residence.

Also, if you're unsure about how your financial situation will impact your ability to buy a house, you should consult with banks and credit unions in your area. These financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a home loan, establish a homebuying budget and much more.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to submitting a competitive home offer, it pays to receive expert homebuying support. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent who is happy to help you put together a competitive home offer.

A real estate agent can provide housing market data that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, this housing market professional can offer unbiased home offer recommendations to ensure you can get an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

Collaborating with a real estate agent is a great option for homebuyers in all cities and towns. Reach out to local real estate agents today, and you can get the help you need to submit a competitive offer on any residence.


Want to sell your residence? As a home seller, you'll want to take a cautious approach to the real estate market. That way, you can improve your chances of getting the best price for your residence, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why home sellers should err on the side of caution as they prepare to add their houses to the real estate market, including:

1. The housing market constantly fluctuates.

For home sellers, it is important to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market. By doing so, a home seller can assess the current housing market and proceed accordingly.

In a seller's market, there is usually a shortage of high-end houses and an abundance of interested homebuyers. This means home sellers who operate in a seller's market may be more likely to stir up plenty of interest in their houses as soon as these properties become available.

Conversely, a buyer's market typically favors homebuyers, as it features a limited number of homebuyers and a wide range of home sellers. If you're selling your home in a seller's market, you'll likely need to price it competitively to help your residence stand out from the competition.

Allocating the necessary time and resources to analyze the housing market is key. With housing market data in hand, a home seller can determine whether he or she is getting ready to list a house in a buyer's or seller's market.

2. What your home was worth yesterday is unlikely to match what it is worth today.

The price that a home seller initially paid for a residence is unlikely to match what the house is worth today. Thus, a home seller should perform a home appraisal to learn about the present value of his or her residence.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will assess a house both inside and out. Then, the property inspector will identify any problem areas with a house that could negatively affect the residence's value.

A home appraisal is exceedingly valuable to home sellers. It enables them to understand a house's strengths and weaknesses as well as uncover ways to transform a home's weaknesses into strengths. As a result, a home seller can use a home appraisal as a learning opportunity and find innovative ways to enhance a residence before adding it to the real estate market.

3. Homebuyers are always on the lookout for bargains.

Although a home seller will do everything possible to learn about the housing market, there is always the danger that a homebuyer will submit a "lowball" offer on a house. Conversely, a home seller who errs on the side of caution will be able to differentiate between a legitimate offer and a lowball one time and time again.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to sell your house, don't hesitate to work with a local real estate agent.

Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. They can help you get your house ready for the real estate market and ensure you can reap the benefits of a quick, seamless home selling experience.

Become a cautious home seller, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your house.


There are a lot of real estate agents out there to choose from. It might be hard to tell one from another. There’s so many ways to find an agent these days including recommendations from friends and family to simple online searches. You want an agent that understands your needs from the neighborhoods that you’re looking to buy a home in, to the layout of the market that you’re selling in. Each agent has different specialties from relocation needs to foreign languages to FHA approved property searches. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you find the perfect realtor for you. 


Pick Someone Who You Can Have Straight Talk With


You’ll need to like the person you pick as your realtor, but you’ll also need someone who you can talk business with. You don’t want a family member who you don’t feel comfortable knowing your financial picture, or someone who won’t understand your desire for a certain location or neighborhood. 


Match Your Personality


You’ll be in touch with and will be spending a lot of time with your realtor. You want to find a realtor who can work well with you. Match your personality with theirs. Do you like someone who is a bit aggressive? Would you rather have a realtor who is a bit more easy-going? How often do you want to be in touch with your agent? Just remember that if you don’t like your agent, there’s a good chance that other people may not like your agent either! 


The Choice Is Yours


Remember that the choice is yours when you’re looking for a realtor. You want to find a realtor who you know you’ll work well with. You also want to know that your realtor will work for you. It’s important that your realtor be ethical, communicative, and be a part of your team throughout the process of buying and selling. Here’s some questions that you should ask your realtor in order to help you understand if they’re a good fit for you:


  • Will I be working with you exclusively?
  • Are you a full or a part-time agent?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • What broker do you work for?
  • Have you closed homes in this neighborhood before?
  • Do you work with any lenders or have a seasoned team to help us through this process?

  • Asking these questions can help you to get a better understanding of who your realtor is and how they can help you to buy your dream home or sell your current property. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect throughout the process.

Just minutes from downtown St. Helena on a private lane surrounded by forest, this hillside property has expansive valley and mountain views. The home has been completely renovated with new electrical, plumbing, bathrooms, kitchen and appliances. New carpet, tile floors and refinished hardwood flooring, dual-glazed windows, windows coverings and a gas fireplace complete the updated decor. The covered deck is perfect for your entertaining needs!

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Nestled in a hillside forest and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valley, this charming one-bedroom apartment is located on a private lane just minutes from St. Helena. Completely renovated, the rent includes garbage, water, landscape maintenance and wireless Internet.

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