How To Write an Offer That Gets Accepted – That You Won’t Regret
The “Love Buying Your Home” series will take you step-by-step through the entire home-buying process — from finding a buyer’s agent to settlement day, and even to maintaining your home after you’re all moved in. Every first-time buyer will find this information-packed series easy to follow and understand. Make sure to tune in for the next few weeks!
You’ve done it … you found the home you want to buy! Now you’re ready to make an offer and tackle some of the next steps that will make you a homeowner.
First, it’s time to determine your offer price and the amount of your earnest money deposit to show you’re a serious buyer. You’ll need liquid funds for this deposit, so make sure you’re ready to write a check with your offer.
You also need to get prepared for some negotiation tactics. This is when we’ll find the perfect balance of getting the home you want AND for a price you’re happy with. DO NOT forget about your deal breakers and the maximum amount you’d be willing to offer for a home. (Remember, you have a “monthly” budget in mind!) Don’t let this step scare you! Negotiating for a home can seem overwhelming, but I have a very educational, step-by-step way of making sure you are knowledgeable, confident, and comfortable with every decision during this important milestone.
Step 1: Determine your offer price
Here’s some things to keep in mind:
Don’t just go with the “list price”! Sellers decide what they list the home at, so some homes will be overpriced, and some will be underpriced to generate traffic. I can help you determine how the home is priced, so we aren’t shocked at an appraisal. I will use comparable homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood to determine this. I will also look at the final sales prices to get an average of the current market price for your type of home. I will also take into account and compare the features of your home to the others that have recently sold in the area. This will help us determine if your home has any value-added features that might make the price go up OR if it lacks something that would bring the price down.
Consider ALL variables. Has this home sat on the market for a while or has it just been listed and may sell quickly? Is it more of a buyers’ market or sellers’ in this particular neighborhood?
Find out if there are competing offers since these will affect your offer. If there will be multiple offers coming in, then going above the asking price is may be a good idea. There is also other things we can put in your offer to make it more desirable that won’t cost you a dime. I can help you determine what these are and how they will impact you.
Step 2: Submit the offer and be willing to negotiate
If you make an offer under the asking price, make sure you back it up. That helps to ensure that the sellers don’t view it as just a “lowball” offer. We will show them current comps or indicate any valid issues that may decrease the home’s value.
Keep your offer simple with little stipulations if possible. This makes it easier for the seller to accept your offer and can help seal the deal quickly. If you’re a first-time buyer, you won’t have to deal with another home to sell, so that’s a plus!
On the other hand, be flexible when taking into account any stipulations by the seller. If you can accommodate the seller, do so if possible. For example, they may want to rent back from you for a month until they can move out of the home.
Be cordial and not critical of the home. Sellers can be sentimental and may select buyers for more personal reasons than just price. Use that to your advantage! I will help you write a “love” letter about the home and why you and your family will be the right owners to care for it.
Make your offer contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. You’ll want to be able to renegotiate or back out if major defects are found.
Step 3: Show how serious you are about the home
Include your pre-approval letter and put up a reasonable amount for your earnest money deposit. You want to show the sellers you are serious and are capable financially to buy this home. Your earnest deposit should send an encouraging signal to the sellers. If you are willing to put 1% to 3% down, this will show the sellers you really want this home and have put in a serious offer.
Make your BEST offer based on that particular home’s situation. Offers should vary on the circumstances:
- If the home just came on the market and already has multiple offers, you may need to go higher in price and/or have fewer contingencies. A seller is going to choose the best offer first and start negotiating with that offer. So, give it your best shot right out of the gate in these circumstances. A lot of listings right now are calling for “highest and best” by a certain date.
- If the home has been on the market for a time, you’ll need to write a completely different offer — one that is more favorable to you versus the seller. Always back up such offers with comparables to support a lower price.
Keep coming back here each and every week to learn more about the home buying process and reach out to me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime with questions about how what you are learning applies to YOUR specific situation. Just like every real estate agent is unique, so is every buyer and I’d love to help you apply what you are learning in this series to YOUR home buying plans.
I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
2901 Ashton Blvd. #102
Lehi, UT 84043
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