You never want to lose out on a home you really want. When you find your dream home you should do everything in your power to ensure the offer is accepted. There are times when price is not enough. Although most sellers are motivated by price, if your offer is full of contingencies and you can’t close for 60 days it may not make a difference. In most cases it is the obvious items that make the biggest difference. Losing a dream home over a few weeks or even a few thousand dollars is not worth it in the long run. This is especially the case if you plan on living in the home for the foreseeable future. Here are four tips to help ensure that your offer is accepted.
Strong initial offer. Here is where the value of working with a quality real estate agent pays off. It is always important to know which side in the negotiation has the upper hand. In sellers’ markets, they may be able to dictate price and terms. In buyers markets the roles are reversed. If you are in a sellers’ market your initial offer had better be strong. Sending in a lowball offer and hoping for the best, is not the best strategy. In fact, it can be the kiss of death. If you want the property you need to relay this through your offer. It doesn’t have to be your best and final offer, but it must be strong. Now is not the time to mess around and squabble to get a good deal. Getting a good deal is always important, but on a property you really want you need to look at the big picture.
Quick closing. Sellers are still scarred from the mortgage collapse and the lending environment thereafter. There are plenty of horror stories of buyers wanting to close in 45 days, only to find a problem a few days before the closing. For most sellers, the assurance of a quick closing is worth a reduction in the sales price. If you have the means to close with cash, this is always a consideration that cannot be ignored. If not, you need to start your mortgage process prior to submitting an offer. There is a huge difference in a 25-day closing as opposed to 40. Getting a jump on the process by submitting as much as you can beforehand can make all the difference. The quicker you can close the strong your offer is.
Watch contingencies. Unless an offer is significantly higher, the path of least resistance is often the best choice. Few sellers want to negotiate and haggle back and forth about contingencies and credits. It is more than reasonable to ask for an inspection, but anything else may be excessive. Remember, if the seller perceives that you are annoying about the contingencies they will think this is how the rest of the transaction will go. In a multiple offer situation, they will surely pick the cleanest offer, unless there is a significant difference in price.
Bend, but don’t break. If you really want your dream home, you need to be willing to negotiate. You may have to come up in price, accept the property as-is or make some other small concessions to get the deal done. Nothing should be non-negotiable. That being said, you also must know when you should walk away. As much as you want the house, there comes a point where you may be bidding against yourself, or the price simply becomes too high. Only you can determine when the monthly payment will be stretched or when you reach your walk away point. It is ok to bend in negotiation, but never break and give in to everything. If you do, you will end up with a sour taste in your mouth that not even your dream home can cure.
With properties that are in demand it is important to make a strong first impression with your offer. You may only get one chance to start the process on the home of your dreams.