When you are looking for a home the words you want to hear are, "your offer is accepted!" However, getting an offer accepted in a seller’s market can be tough. Multiple offers and bidding wars can be scary, especially when you found the perfect home and don’t want to lose it but there are some insider secrets to getting your offer accepted I have learned over years of experience working with buyers in a competitive market. These will help your offer stand out in the crowd and have the best possibility of getting accepted by the seller. I do not recommend every strategy every time you place an offer but it’s good to have all these tools in your toolbox or an agent who knows how to utilize these tools in each specialized case. Some of these tips cost extra money and some do not. Here are some of the strategies I use…
Offer strategies that do not cost extra money
- Write a personal letter. Many times sellers have lived in their homes for years and it has been home for them. Even if they are not incredibly attached to the home the sellers are likely to care about who will live in the home after they leave and if you can make a personal connection with them they are much more likely to pick you offer. Believe it or not I have seen multiple sellers pick offers that were lower because they connected with the buyers and liked them because of these letters. Click here to see how to write a letter.
- See the home ASAP! When the home goes on the market, if it is of interest to you then go see it as soon as possible and make an offer quickly if you can. Many people loose out on homes because they do not see them soon enough.
- Have your agent make a call. Many agents will make a call to the seller’s agent to connect with them and ask if there is anything the sellers are looking for in an offer that you can accommodate (close date, leaseback, drapes that would like to take etc.). If the agent and seller like you and feel you you are wanting to give them what they want they are much more likely to accept you offer. Sometimes little things like a leaseback or keeping drapes is the deciding factor to sway a seller to your offer.
- Have your lender call the seller’s agent to assure them of your financial qualifications for the loan.
- Get a pre-approval! Without it your offer will normally be overlooked.
Strategies that might cost extra money
- Be accommodating to the seller on close dates or offer a leaseback.
- Agree to pay over appraised value if needed. Many homes are selling for over appraised value. Many sellers are worried that they will get an over asking price but then will have to lower it back down if the appraisal comes in low. You can make an agreement in the contract to pay more than appraised valued ($2,000 for example) if the appraisal comes back low and you could also have the seller agree that they will accept those terms as well so that neither party is worried about the contract falling out due to appraisal issues.
- Offer more earnest money. If provides a sense of security to the sellers.
- Offer more option/inspection money. If the home is clean, well-kept and there is little likelihood that you would have to back out of the contract because of repairs than you can offer more option money. If you do not back out of the contract the option money normally goes towards your closing costs so you would not lose any and the sellers would see that you are serious!
Options that cost money
- Offer more than asking if you are in multiple offers that are expected to go over list price. Money talks.
- Offer a larger down payment if you have it. It provides the seller security.
- Pay for your own home warranty instead of asking the seller to pay for one.
- Pay title policy. Traditionally the seller pays title policy in most cases but if you can pay it than that helps your offer stand out.
- Don’t ask for the seller to pay closing costs if you don’t have too.