It can be very frustrating to find your perfect home, only to find out that other people think it’s theirs too. So, how can you make your offer stand out over theirs, so you can win the house? Well, here are some of the most common tricks that should help put your offer at the top of the sellers list.
1. Make an All-Cash Offer. Probably the best way to make your offer stand out is to make a cash offer. This will make you irresistible to sellers; they love these, because there is less of a chance for the deal to fall through. With non-cash offers, many factors are involved. When many factors are involved, there are many things that can go wrong. When this happens, sellers lose the deal and have to re-list the house.
2. Get your approval letter in advance. Buyers who are unable to pay cash have to get a mortgage. This is standard, as most people cannot afford to buy a house outright with cash. Be sure you check your credit before you begin going house shopping. You should do it months before, so you have an idea of the size mortgage you can get, as well as time to dispute any errors you might find on your credit report. It will also give you time to pay any current outstanding debt.
After, you should go get a pre-approval letter from the bank. This will show to the seller that the bank has verified your information and has determined that you can get a mortgage for “X” amount. This will make the seller take you seriously. Sellers don’t like to deal with buyers who don’t even have that letter yet, especially when they have offers from other people who can already prove that they can afford the house.
3. Make your absolute best offer. Make the absolute best offer that you are able to pay. Be sure to have your realtor evaluate the other homes in the area, and sale prices, among other factors to ensure that you aren’t over-paying. These numbers are what should give you a clear indication of what to offer. The problem with playing a lowball negotiation game with the seller is that there could be another buy simultaneously making their reasonable offer, instead of playing games. Be careful before you play Russian roulette with offers!
4. Raise your earnest money deposit amount. The more money you put down, the more serious you appear. However, be cautious in this area, because there are ways sellers can get around returning the money, should a problem arise. Only give a reasonable deposit amount, at which you can afford.
5. Lower the buyer contingencies. Most sellers prefer offers without any contingencies. Wouldn’t you? If you have enough cash, put together an “appraisal contingency,” by assuring sellers that if the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, you’ll pay the difference or perhaps split it with them. Include a home-inspection contingency, but tell sellers that you will cover the cost of any repairs that need to be performed.
6. Be flexible with the move-in date. Express your willingness to work with the sellers’ timetable to go to closing. If they have purchased a new home, but cannot move out of their current home for another month, tell them you’ll let them stay. This would mean that you are offering them a “lease back,” which names you their temporary landlord. Be flexible. Your offer could be lower than another buyers, but the other buyer may not be willing to give them the closing date they want.