In a hot seller’s market, where multiple offers are likely, how can you help your buyer’s offer stand out to the sellers? In many cases, getting an offer accepted is about more than just the purchase price. And buyer’s agents can play an important part in getting their client’s offer accepted.
Here are five ways agents can make their buyers’ offers stand out.
1. Counsel Your Buyers to Be Realistic
It’s your job to make sure your buyer’s offer is reasonable. If you’re anticipating multiple offers, advise your client to bring their “highest and best” offer to the table. This means offering the highest price they’re willing and able to pay with the best terms they can offer the sellers.
All cash offers are most attractive to sellers because they don’t have to risk the deal falling through due to financing issues. But when an all-cash offer isn’t possible, increasing the downpayment and including a pre-approval letter from a lender can help assure the sellers that your clients will qualify for the financing needed to close the deal.
Similarly, using a conventional loan rather than a government-backed mortgage can make your buyer’s offer stronger. While FHA, VA, and USDA loans are all perfectly legitimate, they can come with restrictions and potentially require more from the seller in terms of necessary repairs before closing. So sellers typically prefer conventional financing.
2. Structure Your Offer Around the Sellers’ Needs
What would make the seller’s lives easier? Do they need a quick close? Or do they need time to close on their new home before they can move? Ask the listing agent what the sellers need, and build your offer around that.
If the seller needs a quick close, offer one! And if the seller needs more time, offer to lease back the house to them so they can stay until their new home is ready.
3. Advise Your Buyers to Waive Contingencies Where Necessary
In extreme market conditions, waiving contingencies may be the best way for your buyers to get their offer accepted without increasing the purchase price. Waiving contingencies means that sellers have fewer hurdles that could prevent the deal from closing.
For example, If your buyers have enough of a down payment to cover any potential appraisal gap, they can waive the appraisal contingency. This assures the seller that the deal won’t fall apart because of a low appraisal. Some buyers are even having inspectors attend showings with them so that they can get a quick overview of the condition of the home and be ready to make an offer with a waived inspection contingency on the spot.
4. Impress with Your Presentation
You might think presentation doesn’t matter when it comes to making an offer. And maybe it shouldn’t. But the fact is that seller’s agents can develop biases based on your presentation. And they can allow those biases to influence how they advise their clients (perhaps subconsciously).
Be sure your offer is clean. This means that there are very few requirements placed on the seller. You may also want to include a cover that summarizes the terms so the agent doesn’t have to dig through the forms to get the relevant information. You can actually buy offer templates on Etsy that serve this purpose.
In some markets, it’s acceptable to have your buyers submit a love letter with the offer to explain why they want to buy the home. The logic is that most sellers would like their property to go to nice people who want to make a long-term home of it (as opposed to fix-and-flippers or investors). But check with your broker and local Board of REALTORS first. This practice is frowned upon in some markets and even unlawful in others due to potential Fair Housing Law conflicts.
You might also consider presenting your offer to the listing agent in person. Just be considerate of their schedule. Meet where it’s most convenient for them, and don’t take up much of their time.
5. Follow Up
If you send your offer via email, follow up with a phone call or text to make sure it was received. The last thing you need is for your buyer’s offer to somehow get stuck in your outbox or the listing agent’s spam folder!
You might also follow up after a day or two if you don’t hear back from the listing agent right away. Be persistent but polite and professional.
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