In many parts of the country, it’s a seller’s market. Thanks to low inventory and lots of buyers, many sellers are receiving multiple offers – and even all-out bidding wars – on their homes! Although making the highest offer seems like the best (and only!) way to buy your next home, there are other ways to make an offer that a seller can’t refuse. Sometimes, you don’t even have to offer the most money!
How is that possible?
By making sure your offer is reasonable, keeping the offer simple and without contingencies, and adding personal touches, you can make an offer the seller can’t refuse.
The first step is to be reasonable. Although some negotiation is to be expected, your starting bid shouldn’t be so low that the sellers don’t take you seriously. If you make an offer that’s so low it’s insulting, most sellers will refuse to have anything else to do with you. They won’t even considering negotiating! If you really want to purchase the home, your offer should be close to the seller’s asking price.
Part of being reasonable involves letting the seller know that you’re a legitimate buyer. That means including a pre-qualification letter from your lender. If you are a strong candidate for the loan, ask the lender to add your level of qualification as well. After all, the last thing a seller wants is for the sale to fall through because your funding fell through – so do everything you can to prove to the seller you’re your financing is in check. That will help persuade the seller to take your offer seriously.
As far as keeping your terms simple goes, you need to make sure that your offer doesn’t come with any contingencies. Although contingencies can be hard to avoid (especially if you are relying on the sale of your current home), a seller may turn down your offer because they are afraid that it will fall through based on those contingencies. If you can help it, keep your offer as simple as possible with limited terms and contingencies.
Another way to keep the terms simple? Don’t ask for a lot. Most sellers have already made all of the upgrades and repairs that they want to make. Don’t scare them away by making an offer based on a lot of upgrade requests or stipulations.
If you really want to make an offer the seller can’t refuse, get a little insight into their needs and motivations. Your realtor should be able to find out this information for you and to help you frame an offer based on the seller’s motivations. One such need or want is the closing date. Sometimes a seller will take a slightly lower offer just so they can have a later closing date.
The final way to make an offer the seller can’t refuse is to personalize the offer with a little added touch. If you truly love a home, let the seller know how much the house means to you through a note or an email. Even when people are selling their home, there is usually a lot of sentimental value attached to it, so just a small note assuring the seller how much the home means to you and how well you will take care of it could make the difference between an accepted or rejected offer.
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