It has been said that almost winning is not as good as winning, just ask the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta almost won the Superbowl, and that feeling is no better than when a seller picks an offer other than yours, and you find out that you almost won your dream home in a competitive offer situation. In an effort to avoid the “almost winning is not as good as winning” scenario, here are my 5 ways to get your offer accepted.
At the top of my 5 ways to get your offer accepted list is to offer the seller as few contingencies as possible. From a seller point of view, the fewer contingencies there are the greater the likelihood a seamless closing will occur. If you can take out the mortgage contingency, the home inspection contingency, and any others such as a home sale contingency you’d have the seller dream offer. However, if you are going to do so, be sure you have done your homework and know that you can make an offer with such contingencies. When it comes to an inspection contingency, I always recommend a home inspection. However, if you have been through a home thoroughly, and you are comfortable with what you have seen, then you can waive your home inspection contingency. Most sellers will allow you to complete a home inspection, if they are not responsible for the outcome.
Match The Seller’s Dates
Now I am not saying dress like the seller’s high school significant other. What I am saying is make sure your agent knows what the seller’s housing needs are post closing. Does the seller need time to find housing, or can the seller close yesterday? If you can help the seller bridge their living situation from the home you are trying to acquire into their next living situation, you can potentially save the seller, time, money, and hassle, if not all three. This will always make your offer look stronger. This is the least expensive of my 5 ways to get your offer accepted. This should not cost you more, but can save the seller a bundle.
Downpayment Deposit Amounts
One of the most interesting ways to get a seller’s attention is to increase your deposit amounts. This will always get a seller’s attention. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes, you have two substantially similar offers, and one offer is going to put down more money. Who looks more serious? In my market, the norm for down payment amounts is to provide a $1,000.00 down payment with the offer, and a five percent downpayment upon the signing of the purchase and sale agreement. If you are in a competitive offer environment, and all else appears to be looking equal, put more down with the offer. Try going to two, three, even five thousand down with your offer. It will show the seller you are serious. And the same can be done with the down payment at P&S, put more that the typical five percent down. This is the most often overlooked method to get a seller’s attention of all my 5 ways to get your offer accepted.
Present your offer in person.
While I am not saying for you take your offer directly to the seller, but do have your agent present your offer directly, and in person, to the listing agent. If your Buyer’s Agent is truly working on your behalf, than he, or she, should make an appointment with the listing agent and sell both you and your offer to that agent, and by extension, to the seller. They should highlight your buyer’s letter to the seller, your financial highlights, and anything else that makes your offer stand out. Again, this is a bit “old school”, and is another very inexpensive way amongst my 5 ways to get your offer accepted, but is sure helps to humanize the story in what can be an emotional home sale situation.
Do not assume that the seller knows everything about you. When in doubt, write it in the offer. For example, if you do not have a home to sell, write is in the offer. If you are pre-approved, write it in the offer. If you are putting down a larger down payment, put it in the offer. Be sure to let the seller know, by reading it, everything that makes you and your offer unique and strong. Remember, if the seller is receiving multiple offers, then having your story in writing can be the most effective of the 5 ways to get your offer accepted. A seller cannot forget your details if the are clearly spelled out in writing.
While there are numerous ways to to get an offer accepted, these are my favorite 5 ways to get your offer accepted. It is important to note, that with an offer, it can often be the terms that are almost as important as the price. Other items that are really important to getting your offer accepted, are to be sure you have a strong pre-approval in hand, and that you are working with an agent that has a strong reputation for being cooperative with other agents.