You’ve found THE perfect home and you want to make the best offer to make the seller to say “yes.” But there's more to it than just the offer price!
Even if your offer price is competitive, there are still other techniques to make you and your entire offer a lot more attractive to the seller.
To deal with competition from other buyers or a wary seller with a new listing, getting your offer accepted requires a game plan and smart strategy.
Typically sellers will choose the best offer first and start negotiating with that buyer. And you want that to be YOU!
Here are our strategies to help you get the deal done and make your “home sweet home” dream come true.
Set Your Metrics
First get your own parameters mapped out of what you’re not willing to do to get a home. Have resolve since you don’t want to make an offer that's too sweet even for you.
Don’t forget about your deal breakers and what your top price is (the absolute max you’d be willing to offer). You don’t want to get pulled into a deal you’ll regret if your “monthly” mortgage gets way over budget.
Keep It Simple & Straightforward
Keep stipulations and concessions to a minimum. The less you ask for the better! You don’t want to irritate a seller and make him move on to the next offer. This is especially true if you know they want to move quickly to get the house sold.
- If at all possible, limit the number of contingencies in the contract. If you’re a first-time buyer, you don’t have to worry about the contingency of having to sell your current home. But current homeowners may need a buyer contingency in order to sell a current home and purchase the new one. If that's the, look for other concessions that may entice the seller, such as paying for closing costs.
- Even if you very much like curtains, draperies, light fixtures, etc., currently in the home, limit your requests, your "asks". You don’t want your sale to fall through over "stuff".
Buying a home requires negotiation and some back and forth between both parties. Be flexible and willing to work with the seller.
- Be open to setting the closing date to the seller’s timeframe, whether it’s sooner or later. Are they relocating for a new job and need to move quickly? Have they already bought their next home? Or are they an older seller needing more time to transition to a smaller home?
- Accommodate their stipulations if possible. For example, do they need to rent back from you for a month until they can move out?
Prove You’re Ready to Buy
The seller needs to know that you are serious and capable financially to buy this home from the get-go. They want this sale to go through and don’t want any surprises about your finances or credit.
- Remember to get preapproved for your mortgage and make sure to include your pre-approval letter from your lender. This means providing all documentation such as pay stubs and tax returns early so you can move forward quickly with an offer.
- Put up a reasonable amount for your earnest money deposit, such as 2% to 5% of the purchase price with your offer.
- Include an Escalation Clause, which will increase your proposed offer up to a certain amount should another buyer submit a bid higher than yours. This can help keep you in the game and in the negotiation process.
Never Be Critical or Nit-Picky
Never have your offer be critical of the home. Even if a home is in disrepair and needs a total renovation, focus on its attributes during any communication with the seller via a personal letter or through your agent.
Also, don’t get too nit-picky when it comes to the inspection report. No house is perfect so concentrate on the major systems – such as HVAC, roof, foundation — which can be costly to repair. Don’t become obsessed with minor “faults” in the home and ask for unnecessary repairs,
No one offer or listing is alike. You’ll need to adjust your offer strategy to that home’s specific situation (but don’t forget your parameters!). Work with your agent to determine what adjustments are best for that home, its neighborhood and the current market dynamic (buyer’s or seller’s market).
- For a recently listed home with multiple offers, you may need to go higher in price and/or have fewer contingencies.
- For a home that’s been sitting for a while, you have more leeway but should validate a lower price with comparables from recent sales in that neighborhood. Also provide valid reasons for any issues that may decrease the home’s value.
Let us know if you have any questions when it comes to making an offer. We are here to help you!