How To Get Your Offer Accepted
After weeks, maybe even months of shopping, you finally find a house you can envision yourself living in. Now you will need to make an offer to the seller. But, how do you go about making an offer on the house? Making a successful yet reasonable offer requires planning and preparation to have the best chance of having your offer accepted.
This is where your real estate agent’s expertise comes into play. A good real estate agent helps you prepare and negotiate an offer that considers all of the important issues while considering the seller to give you the best chance of having your offer accepted.
Some of the top strategies and suggestions we recommend to our clients when making an offer on a home are the following:
Know What You’re Negotiating
There is more to making a real estate offer than just deciding on a purchase price. Some other fees and dates can and should be negotiated. Here are some areas where you may have room to negotiate:
· The closing and possession dates
· The amount, if any, you are asking the seller to pay for your closing costs
· The amount of your earnest money deposit
· Who pays for the appraisal
· Who pays for a home warranty
· Who pays for HOA transfer fees
· Payment or credits in place of repairs
It is wise to know how much each of these fees will cost and play around with the numbers so that the offer will make sense for you as well as the seller.
Be Pre-Approved Before You Make an Offer
Working with a lender and getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a strategy we suggest regardless of the real estate market. Getting in touch with a lender before you start looking at homes will save time and make your offer stand out. To get pre-approved, you will submit financial documentation to a lender. They will look through your income, credit report, debts, and assets to determine how much money they are willing to lend you for your home purchase. Having your pre-approval in hand when you submit an offer shows the buyer that you can afford the home at the price you are offering so they won’t have to worry about financing falling through and that you are a serious buyer who is organized and efficient. This will help strengthen your offer since there is not as much risk of the transaction falling through at the last minute due to you not being able to get financing.
Understand the Market
The real estate market is constantly changing. In a “buyer’s market” where there are many homes available for sale, the buyer has more negotiation power. You may be able to offer less than the asking price and ask the seller to cover some additional expenses like closing costs or a home appraisal.
In a “seller’s market” where sellers have the upper hand, it would be silly to try to come in low. In that case, you need to put your best foot forward from the start and skip on asking the seller to cover any extra fees. You will need to have this information ahead of time so you don’t make an offer that offends the seller and takes your offer out of contention.
Write a Letter To The Sellers
You would be surprised how much a personalized letter to the seller can strengthen an offer. This is especially true when the sellers have a sentimental connection to the home. We had a seller receive a letter from a potential buyer who wrote about how they could see their young daughters running up and down the very long hallway. This stuck out to our seller because their now-grown daughters did the same thing as young children. Even though the offer was not as strong as it could be, they wanted to pass the home on to someone who would continue to make happy memories in the house.
When you are viewing homes, take notice of family photos to see if you and the seller have anything in common. Try to identify one thing that made this home stand out from the others you saw and what made you want to make an offer. It is acceptable to be very personal and describe your family to the seller.
There is always some give and take during a real estate transaction. Preparing in advance and knowing the local real estate market will help avoid unnecessary delays and frustrations while going through the negotiation process.
If you are ready to begin your home search, contact us to get the process started. We will work relentlessly on your behalf to help you achieve your real estate goals.