Watching first-time buyers and those on tight budgets during last spring’s overheated sellers’ market was heartbreaking. I’ve seen so many offers made and so many passed over for someone else’s. I’ve been fortunate and have a rate high rate of success in getting my buyers offers accepted. That being said, one of the most frequently-asked questions I’ve heard was;
“Aside from increasing the amount of money we’re offering, what else can we do to win in a multiple-offer situation?”
As we head into the spring 2018 season we will no doubt hear this question again. So today I will share with you some tips I know work and just might win you that home.
Don’t nickel and dime the seller over the small stuff
It’s tempting to want the seller to fix even the little things that show up on a home inspection report. If you truly love the home, and the inspection report doesn’t show any major problems, avoid that temptation and leave out requests that the seller make or pay for repairs. The cleaner your offer, the more likely it will stand out among others. And, after price, the seller will look at other aspects of the contract that will cost him or her money when deciding on which offer to accept.
Increase your earnest money deposit
This is huge! Aside from the best sale price possible – what sellers want, is to know when they accept an offer and take the home off the market, the sale will most likely go to closing. To reassure the seller that you are serious about the purchase, increase the amount of your earnest money deposit. The earnest money deposit is your good faith gesture where your are demonstrating how serious you are in completing the sale. It’s held in escrow and applied toward the purchase price at closing. If however, you breach the contract the earnest money deposit is forfeited to the seller. An increase in good faith money shows an increase in good faith – and sellers love that.
Agree to be flexible with your closing date
Believe it or not, buyers can win a bidding war against higher offers – just by being flexible on the closing date. Many sellers need more time to move out, so offering to close on their preferred date, or even to increase the possession time after closing, may be a way to win in a multiple offer situation. If the home is vacant, offer to close quicker (if possible). Of course, you’ll need to get with your lender to determine how quickly you can close; but closing faster is very attractive to a seller who is carrying the costs inherent in a vacant home.
If all else fails
If you’ve ever been in a multiple-offer situation, you know that the seller may find another offer to purchase more attractive than yours. If this is the home of your dreams, consider making a backup offer – which will put you next in line if the chosen buyer backs out of the purchase. The backup offer, when accepted by the seller is a binding contract – so make sure you have your lending in order before submitting it.
Sure, it sounds like a long shot; but back-up offers frequently become primary offers. So they’re worth considering when the home is exactly what you want.
Still have questions? Just reach out – I love talking about real estate!
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