1. Reply to counteroffers ASAP.
Time is of the essence for most sellers so it’s important to strike while the iron is hot if you want your offer accepted. Submit a great offer as soon as possible when you know you want the home, and we’ll respond to any counteroffers the same day if possible. That momentum will keep the deal alive and give you the best chance of getting into escrow.
2. Get preapproved for a conventional loan.
Go for a conventional loan first. While government-backed loans like FHA, VA, and down-payment assistance programs are still useful, they may be seen as a liability from the seller’s perspective. Extra conditions, regulations and procedures can slow down your loan, delay the closing – or possibly kill the deal altogether.
3. Keep your contingency periods short.
Most real estate purchase contracts have a standard 17-day contingency removal period, during which the buyer can conduct his or her inspection, review disclosures and reports, get an appraisal, and request repairs. To sweeten the pot for a seller and show them that you are ultra-efficient and motivated, we can offer a shorter contingency period. You can still perform the same due diligence; just turn it around faster.
4. Increase your down payment.
By putting down 20% or more down payment, your offer will be much more attractive to the seller. As a general rule, the bigger the down payment, the more invested and stable a homebuyer appears.
5. Bump your earnest money deposit.
Alternatively, a great way to get your offer noticed is to increase your earnest money deposit well above the standard. Remember that if you find an issue when you do the home inspection and appraisal, you don’t have to move forward with the purchase. You’ll still be able to do that before you remove contingencies – and get your deposit back.
6. Leave a ‘Thank You’ note.
It’s a tiny touch, but so important. Think about it: a homeowner probably feels pride and strong emotions about the home, and by leaving a quick Thank You note when you view a property you really love, you’ll validated those feelings. Thank You notes are a great way to show the seller that their home will go to a great new owner.
7. Discover the seller’s priorities.
I can communicate through the seller’s agent to find out the most important factor in the sale, above and beyond price. Maybe they need a quick close so they can move out of town or want to get it sold before holidays? Perhaps, they’ve had deals fall through in the past or ask for too many repairs and just want to know that you’re truly interested? If we know their “hot button” it can go a long way to getting your offer accepted.
8. Offer a quick close.
Waiting around until the deal closes and their check clears is uncomfortable, so offer to close early. As long as we are organized with your loan and paperwork and no unexpected issues occur, most home purchases can be closed in 30 days or less.
9. Make an all-cash offer.
Cash talks. Nothing gets a seller’s attention like an offer to buy their home without a mortgage loan involved. If that’s possible, it sure can streamline the process.
10. Submit a non-contingent offer.
If a seller sees that your offer is contingent on selling your home first, your chances of acceptance are greatly reduced. Talk to me about selling your home first, and then move on as a strong, perfectly positioned buyer.
11. Write a personal letter to the seller.
A real estate transaction is paperwork heavy, with legalese and big numbers flying around. But you can humanize your offer and appeal to the seller’s emotions by writing a polite personal letter explaining who you are, why you love their house, and revealing some details about your family.
12. Submit a strong lender letter.
Other than the purchase, price, one of the first things a good Realtor will review with their sellers once an offer comes in is the terms of financing. By getting you preapproved ahead of time, you will be able to submit a rock-solid lender letter illustrating what a great loan candidate you are.
13. Get all the required paperwork in order from the get-go.
Showing bank statements, credit report and proof of funds is always welcomed by a seller (and their Realtor), displaying your strong financial position. Sharing these financial documents (of course with the sensitive data blacked out) will reinforce your offer.
14. Consider Adding an Escalation Clause.
This rarely used tactic shows sellers that you are very serious, and gives them incentive to consider you first no matter what kinds of bidding war ensues. I can write a clause into your offer that states you will “escalate” your offer above all others to a certain point, for example, increasing your offer by $500 over any others up to $250,000, eliminating the need for counteroffers.
15. Write up a “clean” offer.
We won’t cloud your offer with a bunch of unnecessary concessions and requests. Getting money credited back towards closing costs, asking the sellers to pick up fees and costs that are typically associated with the buyer, asking for appliances to be left and excessive repairs to be made can slow the deal. Keep it clean and simple for the sellers – giving them a compelling reason to choose you.