Congratulations! You've found your dream home. Now… What’s the best way to get your offer accepted by the home seller? Check out these 7 ways to make your offer stand out:
1. Cash is king. If you’re like most buyers and need to finance the home of your dreams, your mortgage lender will require an appraisal. If the home’s appraisal comes back below the contract price, this spells uncertainty for the seller. On the other hand, an all-cash offer stands out because no appraisal is needed and there isn’t a lender involved. A buyer paying cash equals less risk to the seller and could shorten the escrow period. If you’re able to swing it, paying cash for a home is one of the best ways to make your offer stand out.
2. Get pre-approved. If cash isn't in the cards, do your mortgage homework first. Before you begin home shopping, have a pre-approval letter from your favorite mortgage company and the direct contact information of your loan officer in hand. This means you’re prepared, and that's something a seller will smile about.
3. Put your best foot forward. You may only have one shot to show your aces, your best foot, your best price for the home. Don't expect the seller to counter multiple offers for "highest and best," because they may not - they may simply accept the best offer that's on their coffee table. Ensure the one that's accepted is yours.
4. Put your earnest money to work. One percent of the purchase price is customary for earnest money in most markets. But what if you doubled that? Shelling out a hefty earnest money deposit demonstrates you're serious about the property. If you withdraw from the contract during the inspection/option period (as long as you're not in default of the contract in any way), you're entitled to receive your earnest monies back.
5. Penny for your thoughts. Write a love letter. Not even kidding. Write down why you love the seller's home... How you can see your family growing there, how the backyard inspires your love for the outdoors. Lay it on the line. Chances are, the seller will identify with why you've fallen in love with their home. This adds an emotional component to your offer that stands out.
6. Get in the seller's head. Ask your agent to find out what makes the seller tick... Are they building a home and need a leaseback after closing? Do they receive a discount from a certain title company? Is there a particular date that they'd like to close escrow? Make it about them, and you'll make your offer more attractive. Show you care and make it easy for the seller to accept your offer over anyone else's.
7. Ask that your agent present your offer to the listing agent in person. In our digital world, this adds one more touch point, one more emotional component to your offer. The listing agent will be advising the seller, and getting that agent in your corner is a great way to get your offer noticed. Presenting an offer in person also a bit "old school" and is rarely done these days; in-person makes an impression. It makes your offer stand out.
Sellers are people, just like you and me. Put yourself in their shoes, see things through their eyes, and you're on your way to making your home offer stand out above the rest.