You have found the house of your dreams and know this is ‘The One’ and then find out you aren’t the only one that loves this property…..You now find yourself in a MULTIPLE OFFER situation.
Don’t panic! There are many things you can do to set your offer apart from the rest and give yourself a leg up on the competition.
Be prepared to ACT FAST & PAY ABOVE LIST PRICE
Did you know that a seller’s first offer is often their best offer? Even in Multiple Offer situations, the first buyer to the table can signal to a seller that you have serious interest in their home with no hesitation in submitting an offer.
Your Realtor will be able to run a Comparable Market Analysis for you to determine what other properties have been selling for in the area and if properties have been selling above their list price. Use this as a guideline to help you determine how much you are willing to pay for the property.
It’s not uncommon to have to make an offer above the list price. Ask your lender to run the numbers. Increasing your offer by $10K – $20K will increase your monthly payment by less than $100 per month over the course of a 30-year mortgage. (This amount will depend on mortgage amount, interest rate)
Write a STRONG OFFER UPFRONT. If you suspect or know there are other offers don’t assume the seller will negotiate.
Get inside the SELLER’S MIND
Sellers are looking for the highest price with best financing terms, as few contingencies as possible and want to work with serious buyers that are committed to closing the deal.
Did you know that although the seller’s agent may suggest to their seller to counter each offer or ask all offers to submit their ‘Best & Final’ or ‘Highest & Best’, ultimately the decision on how the offers are handled is up to the seller? The seller may accept one offer without further negotiation, counter only one or two of the highest offers or ask for Best & Final from all parties.
STRATEGIES ON HAVING THE WINNING OFFER:
- Write a Clean Offer. Don’t ask for seller paid closing costs, credits, personal property, home warranty or add any unusual terms or contingencies.
- You MUST have a Pre-Approval Letter or Proof of Funds. Your lender may also be able to expand on their approval letter (If you have already submitted the loan application, been put through underwriting, etc.). If you are a cash buyer, your financial institution can prepare a letter stating you have in ‘excess of X funds’ available as liquid capital.
- Know what the seller wants for a Closing Date or make your closing date flexible to meet the seller’s needs. Seller may want a quick 30 day close or need 60 – 90 days to vacate.
- Strong Earnest Money deposit shows the seller you are committed to the deal. Example is 5% of purchase price.
- Add an Escalation Clause to your offer. An Escalation Clause states you will beat any other buyers offer up to a specified maximum purchase price and you will beat that offer by a specified amount such as $1000.
- AS IS Rider. You are agreeing to purchase the home in ‘as is’ condition. You are still entitled to complete a home inspection but won’t negotiate on inspection findings. If there are serious defects found during inspection, you can try to negotiate a credit for repairs but the seller does not need to agree to repair or credit. The buyer retains the right to cancel the contract.
- Offer the best Financing Terms you are able to. If you are a cash buyer your offer will be highly considered and most likely the offer that is accepted. If you can put 20% or more down, do it. If you are 100% approved for a mortgage and know there won’t be any issues with your financing you can write a cash offer with financing. If you have less than 20% down, ask your lender to call the listing agent to verify you are an approved buyer and there will be no issues with securing your financing.
- Let the seller know how much you love their home by writing a short, Sincere Letter which can be included with your offer. This may not work with all sellers but could give you a leg up.
- Don’t be afraid to Show Your Cards. If the listing agent is there while you are viewing the property you don’t have to keep a poker face. If the listing agent is aware how much you love the property, they will think you will be more committed to getting a deal done.
- If your offer is not accepted, you still may have one more shot! Ask your agent to contact the listing agent and request that your offer be held as a Back Up Offer. On occasion, the offer a seller initially accepts falls apart and your offer could be reconsidered.
Content provided by Women Belong member Jennifer Cummings