The real estate market has been horrific for buyers over the last couple years. If you’ve been submitting offers on everything with a roof but still haven’t been the lucky chosen one, make sure you’re including as many of these strategies as you possibly can!
Get your approval letter updated
With rates on the rise, an offer package with an outdated approval letter may be the first one a listing agent removes from their pile of potential buyers.
What is the seller looking for in an offer?
While purchase price is the most obvious answer, it isn’t always the most important one. All sellers are different and what’s important to one may not be to another. Make sure your agent is asking these questions before writing an offer.
- Is closing fast important? Or would they prefer a longer escrow?
- Do the sellers need a place to live for a predetermined period after escrow closes so they have time to find their new home?
- Is there something about the property that they’re worried about?
- Do they want the property to go to caring owners?
- Is there anything else that’s important to the sellers?
- Once you know the answers, do your very best to accommodate the sellers’ wants and needs in your offer.
Start with your highest and best
In this competitive market, there’s a good chance you won’t see a counteroffer if you hold back in the beginning so put your best foot forward.
When you do receive a counter, you can always let them know that your original offer was your best. And who knows, you may decide you have a little more wiggle room in your budget than you thought.
Think about this: if you found out that the house you fell in love with sold for $5000 more than you offered, would you have paid that?
What if it was $5000 more than that? Or another $5000? Really think about what the number is where you’d say no and get as close to it as you can.
Shorten and/or remove contingencies
We’ve seen some crazy things happening in this heavily weighted sellers market so I’ll start by saying, don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with. BUT! Big BUT here… at the very least, have a conversation with your Realtor about your inspection, appraisal, and loan contingencies.
You can probably comfortably decrease the time frame on all of them. Many buyers are either padding the appraisal or removing that contingency altogether.
With prices increasing so much and so fast, appraisals aren’t always keeping up and removing/padding the appraisal contingency can be one of the strongest improvements you can make to your offer.
Include an escalation clause
An escalation clause states that you’re willing to pay $_____ above and beyond the highest verifiable offer so your offer will always be the highest!
You can put a limit on it up front so you can be sure that you won’t pay more than you’re comfortable with.
When you include the word “verifiable,” you’re asking that the sellers share some proof with you that they actually received higher offers.
Don’t ask for any extras up front
Historically, the seller paid for the termite inspection and repairs, title fees, and a home warranty. If you’re able to cover the cost of these without it breaking the bank, do it!
Plus, you can always get a termite inspection done when you do the home inspection (ask your home inspector if they work with a termite company to make scheduling easier) and request that the seller pay for repairs later.
Make sure your Realtor points out all the money the seller will be saving when they choose your offer.
Get your lender on board
A phone call from your lender shows the listing agent a couple things. First, the agent can ask questions about your qualification so they’ll feel secure that you’ll be able to close your loan.
Second, communication between the lender and the listing agent/escrow is SO important in a successful home purchase.
Things do occasionally go wrong and the listing agent needs to know that they’ll get a speedy response when help is needed.
Choose the right Realtor to work with and listen to their advice
Make sure the agent you hire is experienced, trustworthy, friendly, and communicative.
You need someone you can depend on who will represent you well, who can put together a clean, solid offer, and can build a relationship with the other agent so you have the very best chance to get your offer accepted.
Fill out the form below and I’ll send you my Checklist for GETTING YOUR HOME OFFER ACCEPTED!
It’s the perfect tool for you to keep handy during the process.