So you’ve worked diligently with your agent to identify potential properties and after what seems like a million tours, you’ve finally found it — the house you want to call home. The next step is to write the purchase offer. If you’re like most people, the prospect of this is intimidating. In a seller’s market like this, there’s even more pressure to submit an impressive bid. But keep in mind, while price is often the primary consideration for a seller, you have other negotiating tools.
1. Reduce the number of contingencies. Through things like pre-offer inspections it may be possible to make your offer stronger through removing one or more contingencies. Winning bids are sometimes those that pose the least amount of risk to the seller and cause the least amount of hassle.
2. Pay cash if you can. Sellers appreciate all-cash offers as it usually means a streamlined purchase. Financing issues, such as delays in mortgage approval or getting funds moved from a lender are primary causes of closing delays.
3. Submit your loan preapproval with your offer. Prequalification and preapproval are not always the same. A buyer can be prequalified through buyer estimates of income and debt whereas pre-approval usually requires a credit check and verification of income, assets, and debts. Loan pre-approval carries more weight.
4. Submit a solid earnest money deposit with your offer.
5. Tell the seller why you love the property. Sending the seller a letter that expresses why you like the home can make a difference, especially if the seller built it their self or improved it in significant ways. You can compliment the architectural and decorative choices they made. Avoid including information that conveys your age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability status as this can result in a Fair Housing violation. The legality of buyer love letters are now the subject of debate so be sure to check your local laws before writing one.