In today’s local real estate market, a “simple” purchase offer is not “just” about price. Savvy buyers know that crafting a unique offer can make the difference between getting that perfect home…or losing it to another eager buyer.

Our local market is changing daily. That’s why it’s critical today to take the market pulse. As local specialists, our insider information is invaluable for buyers like you to nail down the final details no matter if this is a first home or the next of many.

Buyers looking for a home in a seller’s market need to be educated, savvy on home values, prepared to make a swift and compelling offer, and know how to stay cool and not over-pay, should a bidding war erupt.

From experience, here are some essential tips to craft purchase-offer appeal that can make you a successful, proud—and happy—new homeowner.

Determining Market Conditions: If you are facing a seller’s market, you are likely to find a small number of homes available for sale. Additionally, you might find many buyers competing for the most desirable homes—those priced right, in a coveted location, and in move-in ready condition. In this situation, you’ll need to be an aggressive homebuyer, prepared and ready to make a quick purchase offer.

Understanding Seller Motivation: Why is the owner selling? Moving up? Relocating? Downsizing? Estate sale? Do the sellers owe more than the house is selling for or do they have so much equity that price is not paramount? The more you know about the seller’s situation, the more you can tailor your offer details to meet the seller’s needs. Often, what is most important to the seller is revealed in counteroffers and negotiations. Buyers can respond with attractive terms while adjusting other details.

Moving Beyond Price Remember: A smart offer comprises more than the bottom-line price. Sellers examine the entire contract to weigh a buyer’s “net” offer. Is the buyer asking for closing costs, special accommodations, requests for items in the home and so on? These little “extras” can cost the seller money and can make a buyer’s offer look less inviting because the offer price is ultimately being chipped down, little by little, compared to offers with no special requests.

Extending Accommodations: Buyers who want their offer to stand out are flexible, especially on closing dates. If you really want a particular home, whether you get it in three weeks or three months may not make a huge difference to you. However, sellers have their own set schedule, and if you can adapt to it, your purchase offer (if all else is equal) will have an advantage. Avoid the temptation to ask to move in early, delay closing or change any normal timeline that would lessen your chances of the sellers accepting your offer—especially if other offers are available that don’t request such accommodations.

Clearing Contingencies: In an ideal world, sellers prefer a “clean” contract: full price, all-cash or pre-approved financing, few to no contingencies or inspections, and a flexible closing date. In short, the fewer hang-ups in the offer, the better. Financing delays can derail a contract, which is why many sellers prefer buyers with mortgage pre-approval. Offering to have various inspections (home, pest, radon, energy, etc.) done during the first days after offer acceptance also makes your offer more appealing.

Displaying Seriousness: The amount of money you offer with your purchase contract also indicates how committed you are to buying that particular home. The larger the earnest money deposit, the more you look like a serious buyer. We will guide you on local practices.

Identifying Eagerness: To Sell Sellers new on the market may firmly stand by their price and terms while those who have been trying to sell their home for months might be more willing to negotiate. An offer right after a home has been listed could also be in competition with multiple offers—and today’s buyers need to know how to make their offer stand out to win.

Taking Advantage Of The Situation: If the home is vacant, you may have a little more bargaining power, especially if the vacancy means the owners have already moved on and are carrying the costs of the home while living elsewhere. Buyers may be able to get special accommodations (including a lower price), but if the market is tight and homes are selling quickly, it’s less likely.

Securing Conveyances: Depending on local custom, appliances may or may not convey with the sale. Specifying exactly what personal property is included or excluded with the sale is important. Smart buyers sometimes request property to convey in their offer but later sacrifice that fridge, chandelier or playset in exchange for gaining another negotiating point that bridges a last gap, such as price.

Working With Professionals: To craft the best offer, buyers benefit from working with top local real estate professionals like us. We can help you put together the perfect purchase offer—and counteroffers—to guarantee you end up with a great purchase agreement that saves you money and time—and gets you the house you want.

Bonus: Don't forget to take advantage of your personalized ebook below for more information on buying.

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