IT ISN’T ALL ABOUT THE PRICE
In any market, it is important to have an understanding of what makes a competitive offer, that is – OTHER than price, but that is not always the case. Like you, the seller(s) certainly have their own motivating factors. Who doesn’t?
LAYING THE FOUNDATION
Before you start crafting your offer, we have to lay the groundwork. Your Realtor will provide you with important information about the seller to get a better gauge on what is important (and what is not important) to the seller. Here are some important questions that your Realtor will discover, before you write your offer:
- Did the sellers recently purchase the home?
- Have the current owners lived in their home or are they investors?
- How quickly do the sellers want to close?
- Are the sellers in a financial hardship?
- Why are they selling?
- Where are they moving?
- When do the sellers prefer to close ie. transfer ownership?
- Is the home in a Will or Living Trust?
- Have the sellers had any recent bad experiences with selling? If so, what were they?
The objective with these questions is to decipher what components would make the sellers more confident with your offer.
KEY COMPONENTS TO WRITING A STRONG OFFER
- Type of Financing – You know what they say “cash is king” but why? Why would a cash offer, win over an offer that is financed ie. Buyer has to get a loan? The number one reason why homes don’t sell, after being in contract is the buyer’s inability to obtain financing to purchase the home. For that reason, most sellers are impartial to Cash and find great comfort in not having to deal with a bank.
What if you don’t have a pile of cash lying around?
Take the extra step and get approved with a lender who can provide you a Guaranteed Approval. This does not cost you any additional money and only requires that you send needed documentation to the lender (W2’s, taxes, bank statements etc) up front, rather than waiting for your offer to be accepted.
When you have a guaranteed approval, you will out compete other like offers. Many lender guarantees come with a promise to reimburse both buyer and seller up to $5,000 if they are unable to close.
- Close date – Time is money! If the seller prefers to close as soon as possible, the winning offer may (on paper) be less than the highest priced offer. But in actuality closing earlier could save the seller hundreds if not thousands of dollars in taxes, insurance and mortgage payment.
- Earnest Money – Put some skin in the game. Earnest Money conveys to the sellers that you are making a Good Faith Offer. That is, you aren’t simply going to walk a day before closing because you got cold feet. Putting as much as 3% earnest money (3% of the purchase price that is) in a competitive environment, is sometimes warranted to get your offer accepted.
- Home Inspection – Have one. Yes. You heard me. Have one. If you don’t have extensive house knowledge, it’s not advised to purchase a home without hiring a professional to get into your crawl space, attic, scope your sewer line or septic and dig into every nook and cranny before going all in.
You can, however, perform a pre-inspection ie. do a home inspection before your offer is accepted. If you do this and are satisfied with the condition of the home, you can check the box that your inspection is already conducted. This allows you to compete against home buyers who are choosing to waive their home inspection.
Another strategy to compete against buyers who are choosing to waive their home inspection is, Include a clause in your contract that states your Inspection is for “Informational purposes only.” It’s not advised you include this in the purchase and sale without the review of an attorney. This modification helps you compete against other home buyers who are choosing to waive their inspection.
- Professionalism & Reputation – Work with a local expert. It pays to hire a professional Realtor who knows the market and has the resources to offer you when you need them.