It may take weeks, months, or even years to find your dream home. And one you find it, you want to do everything you can to secure it. There’s always the fear that someone else can snatch it up — which means you need to seal the deal with a competitive offer!
In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to show a seller that your offer is legit, and increase your chances of securing the home of your dreams.
- Get pre-approved. This is the first and best step for setting yourself up for success. You’ll understand what financial limitations you have, and determine a budget. It’s the lender’s way of saying, “yes, we’re backing your offer.” This will help you filter out homes as you search. Oftentimes, we fall in love with a home we can’t actually afford. By setting the baseline of financial limitations and budget, you’ll be able to set your expectations accordingly.
- Do your research. You should never go into an offer blind, with assumptions of what a good offer is and what isn’t. Work with a real estate agent to learn what a strong offer is. Determine if you’re in a buyer or seller’s market, and what that might mean when it comes to negotiating price. Look at property values in your neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods too. If you really love a home, you can ask your realtor to bump up your offer a little bit if another competitive bid comes in. But cap it if you can, otherwise you could end up losing money. If you can pay in cash, buyers love that too. You can also increase your down payment or earnest money deposit to show you’re serious.
- Be personable. This is something we often forget. Think of it like a job interview. If you send a follow up “thank you” email after the interview, you’re more likely to be in good graces with the buyer. It’s not buttering up — it’s showing you’re interested in more than just the purchase. You want to make a genuine connection with the buyer. The more you can get to know someone on a personal level, the more trusting the transactional relationship will be.
- Get the inspection done. This is something buyer’s often take their time on, but should be done sooner rather than later. This is the stage where buyers are most likely to back out. So if you back out, the seller will be frustrated knowing they might’ve missed out on other offers.
- Don’t ask for too much. A seller will identify what’s called inclusions on a listing. This could include things like appliances, window blinds, etc. Take that list for what it is. Don’t ask them to leave small knick knacks, plants, etc. unless otherwise stated so. If you are going to ask, make sure you’ve established a trusting relationship first — versus being greedy right off the bat.
- Be flexible. The seller wants to work with someone who is easily accessible, flexible, and open-minded. Try to make sure all checklist items are complete when you’ve been given the sale. Any contingencies (such as needing to sell your home first), could drag out the process and irritate the seller. This will also eliminate any down time that other potential buyers could use to wiggle their way in.
Ken Venick is a licensed real estate agent in Maryland. Whether you are a first time home buyer or purchasing a multi-million dollar home, you have found the right person. Ken Venick has over 30 years of experience in the mortgage loan business and can put you or your client in the right mortgage loan product for their unique needs. Contact us today!