As the real estate market slowly changes from a buyer’s market to a balanced and in some cases seller’s market, buyers needs to be aware they may find they are competing with other offers on homes they wish to buy.
A well priced home in good condition will attract offers. How do buyers structure or position themselves so that they are the offer chosen? Here are a few tips to make sure you get the home you have fallen in love with.
1. Make sure your offer is reasonable. If you know there are several offers on a home, yours must be full price or close to it. Make sure you provide pre-qualification letter with your offer.
2. Increase your earnest money. This is a great way to show your commitment. You will get your earnest money back if you terminate due to inspection or if you do not qualify for your loan and you have a financial contingency. If the purchase is completed your earnest money will be credit to you at closing.
3. Price is not always the number one reason the seller selects an offer. Keep the terms of your offer simple. When a seller is selecting an offer to accept or counter they want to know exactly what the buyer is asking them to do. They do not want to get bogged down with special stipulations and requests for the seller to do things.
4. Contingencies scare sellers. If you can avoid a contingency in a multiple offer then leave it out of your offer. As an example, if you are a buyer that is buying with a contingency on your home closing and there are multiple offers then take the contingency out but leave the financial contingency in the contract.
5. A good agent will try to find out the sellers' needs and motivation. Once you know why they are selling, and when they need to move, you can structure your offer to meet these needs. Make sure you give them the time they need on the closing date.
6. Foreclosures do not have sellers who are attached. Emotions do not normally play a role in their negotiations but sharing details about the buyer of the property can influence their thinking.
7. If the seller of the home you fall in love with is an individual or a couple write them a letter. Let them know you love the house and why. Tell what emotions you felt when you walked in and why it is perfect for you or your family. In some cases, sellers will pick a family that will love their home over a higher offer.
Several years I had a buyer who was interested in a home for sale in the area. The home had already received an offer in the first week. Doing my due diligence, I learned that the seller’s desire was to get the home under contract quickly and have an extended time for closing.
I advised my clients to make an offer several thousand dollars below list price and leave the closing date blank so the seller could select the closing date. The buyer was flexible on when the home closed.
The sellers loved being able to pick their closing date and responded to our offer over the higher priced offer. They made no change to the price my buyer offered. My buyers got the home they loved and the sellers got to close when they wanted.