Sometimes, you find an absolutely perfect house. It has everything you could ever dream of, it’s within your budget, and it’s in a great location. Chances are, you aren’t the only one that wants it, then.
What can you do to guarantee that you’ll be the one that scores your dream house? Here are some important tips to keep in mind and discuss with your realtor to make sure you get an accepted offer.
This one has to be right on top because even though it seems so obvious, it’s something most people don’t do. Ask your realtor to communicate with the seller’s realtor to ask questions you’re willing to compromise on.
Ask if the sellers would like to push up the closing date to sell their house immediately. If this is possible with financing and inspections, go ahead and do it. On the flip side, some sellers would prefer a bit more time to get things settled with their job and pack. If waiting a little bit longer to close on the house doesn’t bother you, it might help persuade them to choose you.
Figure out what the preferred escrow period is. Then, are there any contingencies that your seller just wouldn’t agree to? Once you figure this out, you can see if you and the seller are still compatible.
Maybe there are some things that you wouldn’t normally think about asking, too. Most sellers prefer to keep all of their furniture, but if you like the way the house is decorated, ask if it would be simpler to purchase the home furnished. Some people just truly hate moving furniture and this simple question could move you towards getting an accepted offer.
Keep it clean
Try to remove as many contingencies as possible. As my professional advice, I believe a home inspection is almost always necessary. I’m not suggesting that you forgo security by taking away all contingencies unless you really know what you’re doing.
However, taking out the less necessary additions can help make sure your contract is as appealing as possible to the sellers, leading to an accepted offer.
Another way to make your contingencies more appealing is to keep their period short. For example, instead of taking 14 days to complete your home inspection, ask for something like 7 days.
You can make this work by scheduling a home inspection immediately upon acceptance of the offer. Then, you’ll still have time to schedule any necessary specialists to inspect if need be.
Money, money, money
Of course, not many people have the financial means available to offer cash for the sale of a home. If you do, you’ll skyrocket to the top of the list, likely getting an accepted offer.
If not, like the majority of people, you can still do many things to be more financially appealing to the seller. First, make sure you get pre-approved. If you send a pre-approval letter over with your offer, the sellers and their agent will know that you are prepared and this sale is much more likely to close.
Even if someone sends over an offer that’s a bit higher than yours, if you have a letter showing that this sale is more secure and has a lower chance of falling through, that seller will be much more enthusiastic about choosing you.
Another way to provide financial security to the buyer is to give them a larger earnest money deposit. This shows you’re extremely committed to buying the house and aren’t going to back down and that you have the financial means to do so.
Lastly, sometimes people are picky about their lenders. You can agree to get pre-qualified by their preferred lender even if you want to finance the home with your own. Someone the seller trusts telling them that you are able to buy their home can be meaningful towards an accepted offer.
Does the seller like you?
Some people will tell you the only thing that talks is money. That’s simply not true. There are some cases when two offers are extremely close and one is chosen because the sellers like those buyers more.
That doesn’t mean that if you don’t go get drinks with your seller, you don’t have a chance of getting their home. Instead, you need to prove that you are responsible.
Let me give you an example.
You are a seller and have two almost identical offers. You think back to your experience with these two buyers.
Family One was right on time to meet you or your agent (maybe even a couple of minutes early), they expressed how eager they are to move, how much they love the house and had a nice conversation with you.
Family Two showed up 30 minutes late without even a simple apology, didn’t give any kind greetings like “Hello” and “Goodbye,” and trash-talked the house the entire time that they were there.
Side note: some people think pointing out as many flaws as possible is a smart move for being able to talk to price down. While pointing out a few flaws might be necessary, some sellers could be quite offended if the only words you have to say about their house are negative. Additionally, when you’re competing with other buyers and are willing to make a well-priced offer, this is unnecessary.
So, thinking about these two families, which would you select? The choice is obvious.
Simply accepting a contract is not the end of the contact between buyers are sellers (and their agents). The seller wants to choose the buyer that is most likely to be kind and responsible, so they can be as certain as possible that the sale of their house will not fall through.
If you’d like your best chance of getting an accepted offer, contact an agent who is knowledgeable about writing the perfect contract.