You can spend weeks looking for the perfect home and when you finally find the right one you may think the process is over. The truth is, this is just the beginning. Getting your offer accepted takes more than settling on a number and waiting for the seller to make a decision. Price is always important but there are other things that you can do that will strengthen your offer and put it at the top of the list. It is often these little things that will mean the most to the seller and help get your offer accepted.
Regardless of what the offer is, a seller wants to know that the deal will actually close. The problems with traditional mortgage lending are well known and are a real factor in a seller’s decision. The buying process starts with a prequalification letter but sometimes these can be generic and not specific enough for the seller. The more information you can provide the seller as to the strength of your offer the more likely they will accept it. Before you even make an offer you should give your lender income, asset and employment information in person and ask them to start the process with the lender. If you can provide a real bank approval instead of a prequalification letter you are ahead of the game.
If you really want the property you have to show the seller. It wasn’t that long ago that a common practice among buyers was to include a personal letter to the seller stating just how much they want their property. By making a small connection to the seller they will consider your offer more and want to sell to someone that really appreciates and wants their house. For the time that it takes to compose a letter it is certainly worth your time to try to get a home you really want.
Price and the bottom line are always important but you need to know where to pick and choose your battles. If you are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a property it seems rather foolish to haggle over a $500 credit. This doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm or accept a bad deal but sometimes you need to look at the big picture. If you nickel and dime the seller for a small credit or insist they remove something from the property you never know what their breaking point will be. If another buyer comes in while you are negotiating you may lose the property over something this small. If you really want the property you need to have a little give and take in your negotiation.
In areas where demand is high sellers have their choice of offers to choose from. Little things will separate your offer from every other one they receive. If you focus on these and put yourself in the seller’s shoes you will separate your offer from every other one. The goal is not to find the perfect house but to get your offer accepted so you can live in it.