In today’s market, it’s not uncommon to be in competition with several other buyers for your dream home! When you find that perfect house, with the chic chandelier, the perfectly oversized kitchen island, and the doggy door for Fido, the last thing you want to do is lose it because your offer didn’t stand out to the seller. Taking the time to put forth a well-written offer can work wonders for a buyer! 

Each seller and agent may have different opinions on what makes the best offer, but here are some that I’ve found are the most consistent in making you look like a serious buyer:

1. Include a pre-approval.

If you want to show the seller that you’re serious about buying a home, get pre-approved before you ever sign an offer! This is absolutely crucial since not only does it show that you didn’t just waltz up, see the for-sale sign and throw something out there, but it also alleviates some of the seller’s worries that you’ll back out when the bank finds out your credit isn’t actually as good as you thought it was. Be sure to include that pre-approval letter from the bank or your preferred lender with the signed offer. 

Linda Perniciaro from Cornerstone Home Lending is phenomenal at helping my buyers get all their ducks in a row financially so that when we find that perfect home, it’s just a matter of signing paperwork. 

2.  Make a decent earnest money deposit.

When you’re sure you can’t picture yourself without this house, be ready to boost your earnest money deposit! Earnest money shows the seller that you’re putting your money where your mouth is, and you’re prepared to give up that chunk of cash if you back out of the contract for any reason other than those allowed under the contract terms. There is usually a typical amount offered for your area, so if you really want to look good, go above and beyond that amount.

3.  Remove all the contingencies you can.

Having two mortgages while trying to sell the home you’re in now isn’t really a dream that anyone has, but if you have the cash to do it, it’s definitely going to make your offer more desirable. Anytime you can waive contingencies in the contract, like the sale of your current home, it gives the seller more confidence that the deal will go through without a hitch. Another option would be to shorten the typical time periods for inspections and option period. If it’s customary for your inspection period to be 15 days, shorten it to 10 to let the seller know you’re looking to make this happen quickly.

4.  Make it Your Best

When you’re up against multiple offers, don’t waste a lot of time expecting to negotiate. Base your offer on solid research of surrounding comparables and really offer what you’d be willing to pay. If you don’t, your offer may be tossed aside for others that did. This includes more than the price, too! Maybe pay out of pocket for some of those extras, like a home warranty or closing costs, instead of asking the seller to contribute. You can also state in your offer that when the inspection report comes back, you won’t have the sellers pay for repairs up to a certain dollar amount i.e. nothing over $800.

5. Get Personal It’s time to let the seller know why you’re dying to buy their house and be honest. Is it because you want to raise your family in the neighborhood? Do you see Fido rolling around in the big, fenced backyard? Connecting with the seller and creating a sense of relatability can go a long way but avoid sounding desperate. The idea is to keep it short, simple, and honest, and don’t forget to have your agent proofread it. Don’t hesitate to go out of the box to make your offer standout to the seller! I once had a seller who took a buyer’s offer because in their letter, they wrote how they noticed the seller had a lot of Harry Potter books and items in their home, and that they too loved Harry Potter. You never know, it may end up getting you your dream home!

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