8. Present it in-person. This almost never happens. But making the effort to hand in an offer in-person, making eye contact and explaining a bit about the buyer goes a long way. This way, you can also tell the seller about your buyer, what they love about the house and point out the strengths of the offer. If you can’t present an offer in person, at the very least, include a letter from your buyers that points out what they love about the seller’s home, appealing to their emotions. Most sellers have a hard time seeing their sale as the business transaction that it is – for them, it is more personal, and personal and emotional pleas can go far with an offer.
7. Include any requested addendums and documentation with the offer. This way, it can be made available to agents in advance by uploading them into the MLS. Let’s say, in a multiple offer scenario, one of the potential buyers failed to include any of the requested documents. In a side-by-side, hair-splitting comparison of offers, this is a negative, and raises questions. When it comes to negotiating against other offers, eliminating little questions is key.
6. Include proof of funds to close if a cash offer, or a lender’s pre-approval letter. If one party can prove that they have the funds to purchase the home, it makes a difference compared to the other party who can’t prove the same thing.
5. Don’t request any inclusions. If you are competing with other offers, this is not a good time to ask the seller to include personal property in the sale. Especially if the refrigerator, washer and dryer are specifically excluded in the MLS information.
4. Request seller concessions. This is always something to consider in any offer. If a buyer competing against other offers is going to request that the seller pay for some of the closing costs, vacate the home prior to closing and take a big hit in the purchase price or otherwise concede something, compensate them by strengthening everything else in that offer that you possibly can.
3. Closing and date of possession. Generally, the sooner your client is willing and able to close, the better. If your client can be flexible, based on what works best for the seller, your client has a big advantage. This is a detail where conflicts can occur between buyers and sellers. Find out what the seller prefers. A quick closing? An extended closing? Accommodate the seller’s needs if at all possible. Or, if you are asking for a closing time frame that isn’t ideal for the seller, be sure to offset it by strengthening the offer in all other areas that you can.
2. Costs paid by? In any real estate transaction, there are closing costs in a variety of areas: appraisal, loan origination fee, lender’s title policy, septic inspection, escrow fee, survey and so on. Although always negotiable, typically the person who benefits from a particular action is the one who pays for it. An appraisal required by a buyer’s lender should be paid for by the buyer, for example. To strengthen your offer, be sure that you are not asking the seller to pay costs that are not obvious seller costs. If you do, realize that this is a concession you are asking of the seller and it weakens your offer.
1. Cash is king. Obviously, this isn’t an option for a lot of buyers, but a buyer will always be in a better position with a cash offer for several reasons. First of all, cash closings are uncomplicated and quick. There is no concern that an appraisal will come in lower than the price in the purchase contract. There are no worries that the buyer’s lender may discover something objectionable, while raking him over the coals, which would disqualify him from obtaining a mortgage to buy the home.