The best words to hear after you have been out house hunting are, “Your offer has been accepted!” You did the hard work of finding your dream home, putting together a thoughtful offer, and waited patiently for what seemed like days to get the news back. Unfortunately, in our current market of high demand and low inventory, it’s becoming more and more rare to hear those fantastic words. Luckily, we have tools in place to help you get your offer accepted and to stand out against the competition, even if that competition is paying all cash.
It seems like every offer is competing these days. In the close-in neighborhoods with ‘Pinterest perfect’ homes, you could be competing with 12 or more other people. We know it is tough out there, but before you get discouraged, know that we have quite a few tricks up our sleeves to help make your offer stand out. Here are our top 4 recommendations to help get you that accepted offer phone call.
#1 Make a stronger offer
There is no way to know exactly what the competition is offering, but we can still make our strongest possible offer up front. In most cases, money talks, so offer over the list price and don’t ask for any concessions. Going in with a strong offer up front shows you are serious and that you don’t want to play any games. We can also write in an escalation clause. That allows you to set a cap and offer a set amount over the next best offer.
#2 Write a love letter
I know, its cheesy. But for most people, a home is a sentimental place. They want to know the home is going to someone that will love it just as much as they did. Tell them earnestly why you love the home and how you imagine yourself living there. A sweet case of serendipity may just win over their hearts.
#3 Waive or shorten some contingencies
The contract is written to strongly favor the buyers in the transaction. There are multiple opportunities that allow you back out of buying the house but there are none for the sellers. You can sway the contract a bit more in their favor by shortening or removing some of the contingencies. You can remove the contingency for the seller property disclosures, shorten the inspection period, and waive the right to re-negotiate price based on the appraisal. Discuss each of these options in detail with your agent. There are varying levels of risk with each contingency, so it’s important to know all the options before removing them.
#4 – Pay their closing costs
This isn’t something we see very often which means it could really sway your offer to be more favorable. Sellers have to pay title and escrow fees just like buyers do. We can offer to cover those costs to help bring the sellers net proceeds up just a bit. You could also offer to pay the commission which typically come out of the seller proceeds, but that is a much larger monetary commitment.
#5 – Surprise them
Do you have a special talent? A huge wine collection? Access to lots and lots of pizza? You can offer anything that you would like to get the sellers to accept your offer. I have had clients offer to brew the seller any type of beer that they would like (only in Portland right?). I have had clients offer free pizza for a year, a weekend get away at a beach cabin, the sky is truly the limit! The trick here is that you cannot attach any monetary value to it. We are giving it to them in exchange for the home, but it needs to be as a gift.
Even after doing all of these things, we may still have been beat out by a higher offer but it is important not to give up. The right home is out there, and when it is meant to be, it will be. Though it’s not on this list, having a great real estate agent on your side is crucial. Having positive working relationships with other brokers in the city has gotten our offers chosen over other (higher!) offers on many occasions. IF you want to get to know either or both of us a little better head over to our about us pages. You can read about Jessica here and Tekela here. Also, you can read our quick guide and meet our favorite lenders here. Lastly, if you want to look at the homes available on the market, you can find those here!