Episode 7 | 10 tips to a winning offer

Is your dream home 3 other buyer’s dream home too? Today we share some ways to get your contract offer accepted in a multiple-contract situation. Each home, buyer and situation is different, and our advice is custom-tailored to each client. These are some ideas to consider in advance as you try to lock down that special place in today’s hot market.

Here are our top ten tips to help your contract win out in a multiple contract situation.

Tip #1: Approval Letter

Have the strongest lender APPROVAL letter possible from a well-known lender (as opposed to a pre-qualification letter) that will give the other agent confidence in recommending your buyer’s contract. Have the lender available to talk to the listing agent.

Tip #2: Sales Price

In this hot market, you’ll want to come in as strong as you can. Don’t start low and come with an escalation clause…start at an offer that will get the seller’s attention and not insult them.

Tip #3: Downpayment

Make as large a downpayment as possible to give the seller confidence your buyer will be able to get a loan.

Tip #4: Earnest money deposit (EMD)

The EMD is the earnest money deposit, something you’ll submit with the offer. Typically in this area it is 1%. However, again make the sellers feel comfortable with your offer, make them confident that you are a serious buyer and if you can go higher than 1%, people will sometimes go as high as 2, 3 or 4%.

It isn’t an extra cost. You get it at the end of the day; it goes towards your closing costs and settlement costs. But it’s basically telling the seller, hey this person is serious.

Tip #5: Preferred Settlement Date

Have your agent find out the owner’s preferred settlement date and write that into the contract. Depending on their moving timeline, the sellers might have a date that would work best for them.

Tip #6: Rent Back

If the owner wants more time in the property, offer a free rent-back.

Tip #7: Home Inspection

Using a home inspection for informational purposes only or void only is an option. This lets the seller know that you won’t come in with a laundry list of ticky-tacky items that you’ll want fixed.

Tip #8: Appraisal

Some buyers may want to waive the appraisal if they are putting a lot down (20-25%) or have the money to pay above appraised value in cash.

Tip #9: Great agent

Choose a buyer’s agent that gets along well with other agents. Make sure they have a strong reputation for being ethical,  being easy to reach and very responsive. In residential real estate being nice and friendly goes a long way. Agents like doing business with agents they see themselves working well with over the period from contract to settlement.

Tip #10: Get it in writing!

Lastly, when terms are agreed to, get it tied up in writing as quickly as possible.

Bonus tip: personal letter

Depending on the sellers, a thoughtful, personal letter can be a great thing. Have your agent ask the listing if this would be something their clients would appreciate. Go ahead once you get the green light!

If you’re out there looking to buy a home in this environment that we have now, we’ve got some other things that can help you as well, so don’t hesitate to call us, we’d love to work with you. Our number is 703-822-0207.

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