1. Cash is king. With less contingencies and potential “weirdness” during the escrow period, home sellers love the CASH word. If you need to finance your purchase, your lender will require an appraisal. If the appraisal comes back below the sales price, this spells uncertainty for the seller. Cash = less risk for the seller and could shorten the escrow period; both are pluses. If it’s in the cards for you to pay cash, this will make your offer supremely attractive.
2. Get pre-approved. If cash isn’t in the cards, go shopping when you know “the money’s in the mortgage bank/brokerage.” Have your pre-approval letter from a mortgage company and thedirect contact information of your loan officer in hand – this means you’ve done your homework. That’s something for a seller to smile about.
3. Put your best foot forward. You may only have one shot to show your aces, your best foot, your best price for the home. Don’t expect the seller to counter multiple offers for “highest and best,” because they may not – they may simply accept the best offer that’s on their coffee table. Ensure the one that’s accepted is yours.
4. Put your earnest money to work. 1% of the purchase price is customary for earnest money in my market (Reno/Sparks, NV)… But what if you doubled that? Shelling a hefty earnest money deposit demonstrates that you’re serious about the property. If you withdraw from the contract during the inspection period (as long as you’re not in default of the contract in any way), you’re entitled to receive your earnest monies back.
5. Penny for your thoughts. Write a love letter. Not even kidding. Pen why you love the seller’s home… How you can see your family growing there, how the backyard inspires your love for the outdoors. Lay it on the line. Chances are, the seller will identify with why you’ve fallen in love with their home. This adds an emotional component to your offer.
6. Get in the seller’s head. Ask your agent to find out what makes the seller tick… Are they building a home and need a leaseback after closing? Do they get a discount from a certain title company? Is there a particular date that they’d like to close escrow? Make it about them, and you’ll make your offer more attractive – show you care and make it easy for the seller to accept your offer over anyone else’s.
7. Ask that your agent present your offer to the listing agent in person. In our digital world, this adds one more touch point, one more emotional component to your offer. The listing agent will be advising the seller, and getting that agent in your corner is a great way to get your offer noticed. Presenting an offer in person also a bit “old school” and is rarely done these days; in-person makes an impression. It makes your offer stand out.
Sellers are people, just like you. Put yourself in their shoes, see things through their eyes and you’re on your way to making your home purchase a win-win.