You found the home of your dreams. But you’re in a multiple offer situation. So how do you – and your offer – stand out among other buyers? Here are the main factors that most sellers consider when evaluating offers, and what you should think about when putting in a bid of your own:
Price. Although some home buyers still believe that traditional home-buying wisdom dictates they start out with a lowball offer and work up from there in the negotiation process, this strategy can backfire in a strong market like the one we’re in today. Consider making your best offer upfront.
Financing. Some sellers prefer cash buyers above all else because it greatly reduces the likelihood of the deal falling apart and speeds up the closing process. If there are no cash buyers, some sellers prefer buyers with conventional loans who are making sizable down payments. You may have little choice, depending on your circumstances, about your financing options. But at a very minimum, you’ll want to make sure you’re pre-approved before making an offer.
Contingencies. Is your offer contingent upon a home inspection? That’s always a good idea. Beyond that, sellers are likely to balk at buyer conditions or contingencies. For example, in a hot seller’s market, you probably aren’t going to have much success making an offer contingent upon the sale of your existing home or a host of other demands.
Once you get your home inspection report back, you may be tempted to ask the seller to make a variety of small fixes so the home is in move-in ready condition on closing day. Think twice about insisting that the seller complete a series of small repairs, buy a home warranty and/or pay all of your closing costs. The more you ask of a seller, the less likely they are to want to accept your offer. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make any demands if the home inspector said it has a bad furnace and roof and that there’s mold behind the walls, of course. It just means that if the home is priced right and in good condition, you may want to consider making small repairs yourself and purchasing your own home warranty rather than asking the seller to do it for you.
Buying a home in today’s market can be a bit challenging. Having a good real estate agent and lender on your side can make all the difference!