With the weather heating up and the real estate market very hot, you might have to make your offer more appealing to beat out competing buyers. One way to do that is to offer full price. Additionally, most sellers will appreciate (and even favor) your offer under the following circumstances:
• Direct your agent to package and present your offer in person. It can be psychologically advantageous to have your agent attractively package your offer and deliver it to the listing agent in person. That package should include your offer, a letter that introduces you, information about you and your family, and why you all love that house.
• Earnest money. The more earnest money you come up with, the better your offer looks to the seller. Since earnest money is part of the buyer’s funds to purchase, it makes sense to increase that amount to get the seller’s attention.
• Include a letter of pre-approval or proof of funds. If you are getting a mortgage, include a strong pre-approval letter from your lender. If your offer is for cash, include proof of funds from your bank. That will make your offer more attractive.
• Submit a complete offer. Include all required addendums, amendments and documentation, so that the sellers can see an outstanding offer that will result in smooth and successful closing.
• Don’t ask for any seller concessions. If the market is hot and there are multiple offers, think twice about asking for personal property and/or other inclusions. You might get away with a home warranty if the home is a bit older.
• Fast closing and flexible possession. In most cases, the buyer will have a negotiating advantage when offering to close sooner and being flexible on possession, based upon the seller’s needs.
• To inspect or not to inspect. Waiving an inspection could strengthen your offer, and it might be a reasonable risk when buying a villa or a condo. However, for a single-family residence, I would recommend getting an inspection.
• Make it a cash offer. While this is not possible for many buyers, a cash offer will almost always be preferable to an offer that requires obtaining a mortgage. A cash offer is quick and uncomplicated. There are no appraisal concerns or lender requirements or objections.
Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry@RealEstateFive.com, RealEstateFive.com, SunCityOpenHouses247.com