More than 4 million Americans buy a home each year, but many offers are discarded along the way. Since the real estate market has bounced back in various regions of the country, buyers are facing considerable competition. Of course, the best way to get the home you want is to offer the most money, but there are other ways to make your bid stand out among the rest. Two top real estate agents have given some tips on how to make your offer come out on top.
The key to making your offer heard is by calming the seller's fears. Seller's main concern in the selling process is the risk of a deal falling through. It's important to have your financing in order before submitting an offer. Make sure the lender checks your credit, assets, and employment status before pre-approving your loan. A detailed letter with the amount you are authorized to borrow is also a must.
Putting down a large good-faith deposit is another sure fire way to stand out. A 2 percent to 4 percent escrow is common. It is also suggested to write a check for at least 10 percent. Within 30 days, a buyer will need to hand over this money as part of the down payment anyway.
Eliminating surprises is also crucial in making sure your bid wins. Sellers worry about home repairs. Most offers are contingent on a home inspection. It helps to have the inspection done before putting in an offer and to specify any repairs that you expect the seller to make. It may also help to buy a home warranty that way if something unexpectedly goes wrong, the seller will know they're covered.
Another contingency in most contracts is the home appraisal. If the value of the property assessed is lower than the purchase price, the buyer can back out of the deal. Unless you are paying cash, an appraisal is necessary for lenders to underwrite a mortgage. If you really love the house, you can offer to pay the difference between a low appraisal amount and the purchase price.
It is important to be accommodating to the seller without sacrificing your own needs. Talk to the sellers about furnishings or appliances they want to take or leave behind. Also, give the sellers ample time to leave. You can allow them a month to move out since you are not responsible for a mortgage payment until after the first month anyway.
A bid can stand out with personal touches. Try to relate to the to the seller by finding something in common with them. Also keep interaction between them and your real estate agent in person. In person meetings come in handy if you really want the home and would like to communicate your desire to beat out other offers.
While these tips most definitely come in handy, the whole process will be a lot simpler with a great real estate agent!