When homes are in high demand, it’s imperative that your offer stands out from a crowd. A well-made offer is key to landing your dream home, but a poor offer can end with another buyer snagging the home you have your eye on. Here are five ways to get an offer noticed when multiple offers are competing with yours!
1. Write a personal letter
Write a personal letter that will accompany your offer. In order to appeal to the seller’s emotions, explain why you want to buy their home. Tell them what it is you love about it, and be as specific as possible. If you think it is the perfect home to raise children, let them know! Alternatively, if the home has been lovingly cared for by the sellers, compliment them and let them know that you plan on continuing to care for it. Often, sellers are emotionally attached to their homes and a good personal letter lets them know that their home will be in good hands.
2. Offer cash, if possible
While not everyone has the luxury of paying cash for a home, the more cash you can offer up-front, the more likely the seller is to accept the offer. Few homeowners pass up an all-cash sale; cash sales close quickly, providing the speedy transaction that many sellers look for.
If you don’t have the money to pay cash (but are willing to put down a large down payment), let the seller know that you will be putting down 30% to 40% (or more), as opposed to another offer who is only putting 5% down. This may tempt them to know that obtaining a mortgage may not be as much of a hassle for you. The bonus for you: in the long run, you will save you money on your mortgage by shortening the length of your loan and the interest you pay.
3. Don’t make a low ball offer
Sellers are not in the game of “giving away” their homes. They expect their home will sell for a fair price, and often base their asking price on an emotional attachment to the property. Keeping this in mind, offering low may result in an emotionally attached seller taking the offer as a personal insult, thus rejecting the offer. Similarly, offering low may give the seller the impression that you aren’t serious about buying the home. Worst case, they may tell you not to come back with another offer...even if you were to offer higher.
4. Submit the proper amount of earnest money
It doesn’t matter how much you love the house if you can’t afford, or are not willing, to pay what the seller is asking for. Typically, earnest money will range from $1,000 to 3% of the sales price. Formulating your own amount of earnest money to put down may give the seller the impression that you are a difficult buyer. Alternatively, submitting your offer with a substantial earnest money deposit will prove to the seller that you are a serious buyer.
5. Hire a great agent
An experienced REALTOR® who is skilled in working with buyers will know the housing market well and won't waste any time presenting an offer to the seller. They’ll know techniques to get your offer noticed and will be able to guide you through options that may seem extreme in a slow market, but could be the difference between an accepted offer and rejected offer in a tight market. While money and heartfelt communication help, having the right real estate professional on your side can make or break the offer.
In a tight housing market, the way you choose to make an offer on the home you love can make a big difference. Remember that a home offer can help you stand out from other buyers, or lead to a quick rejection from the seller. Follow these five tips, and you may find victory is just around the corner … along with your new house.