Making an Offer
When the time comes to make an offer make sure that you have everything ready to go before submitting. A great buyers agent will help you write up a solid and tight offer, one that sellers would love to accept. There are a lot of details and components to the perfect real estate offer. You want to make sure that you have all of your terms and price listed in the offer as well as provide a preapproval letter stating that you are approved for the amount you are offering. Here are 10 tips for writing a great purchase and sale offer, specifically in a seller's market where there are more buyers than there is inventory.
#1. Submit a preapproval letter.
As we talked about buying a home, you'll want to submit your preapproval letter with your offer. This might be a custom-tailored offer that shows you are approved for the exact amount your offering or it can be a blank preapproval letter. Sellers will realize that you're not submitting an offer that you can't afford, especially if you accompany a preapproval letter with it.
#2. Make sure your real estate agent is the one drawing up the paperwork.
There are so many details to the buying and selling process as well as so many laws and legal jargon, going it on your own can seem overwhelming and frustrating. This is where having your own buyers agent comes in handy. We can answer any questions you might have and we know the rules so that your rights and finances are protected throughout the process.
#3. Be friendly and cordial.
Not getting emotional over the offer or the transaction will work wonders. Remember, everyone's emotions can run high during a real estate transaction and sellers can feel insulted with a lowball offer but the more genuine, honest, and cordial you are throughout the process, the more listing agents and sellers will be obliged to help with the process.
#4. Put in a hefty earnest money deposit.
This is your first good-faith move to ensure sellers you are serious enough about buying the property you're willing to put up some money. An earnest money deposit will get credited towards the purchase of the property at closing but in the meantime, will sit in escrow. This can be as low as $500 or as much as 3% of the purchase price but remember, should you back out for no reason (and there are plenty of reasons to back out to get your earnest money back) you may forfeit that money. Again, talk to your real estate agent about the best deposit for the situation.
#5. Consider cash if possible.
All cash offers are almost impossible for first-time homebuyers but if you have enough equity in a previous sale or you've done your homework and saved up, cash always is king.
#6. Consider contingencies.
Will you need to sell another house in order to buy this one? Will you want a financing contingency or home inspection contingency. All of these contingencies need to be satisfied before the home closes so the careful and strategic on the type of contingencies you're going to include in the offer.
#7. Shorten inspection periods.
Sellers like buyers that are on the ball so as soon as the property is approved for inspection, order it and get it done as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence and most sellers want to close quickly, typically within 30 to 60 days. The faster buyers are on top of the process, the easier it is for everyone.
#8. Be clear and concise on all dates.
Have your buyer's agent check with the listing agent on what a good closing date would be for the seller. This shows that you are concerned about the seller and are willing to be flexible on the closing date. The seller is probably purchasing another home as well so being considerate of the seller's needs and timelines will go far in the negotiation process.
#9. Consider a personal letter.
This may or may not work. We've seen situations where it's actually backfired. However, it usually doesn't hurt to add a little note to the seller letting them know how much you love their home and are excited to purchase it. If the seller has multiple offers on the table and yours includes a letter that's personally handwritten, chances are your offer might stand out. But again, this is where having good communication is key. We listed a property to a woman of that had just lost her husband and she received 10 offers within the first week. Only one came without a letter and that's the one she chose. She simply did not have the bandwidth to handle multiple letters. Good communication between the buyers agent and the listing agent can help make this process easier and offer tips to help the buyer get the home.
#10. Be timely and responsive.
Handling all details in a timely manner as well as answering questions that might arise, submitting paperwork, and generally doing things on time will work wonders for the entire process. Sellers are much more likely to let you run the show if you're flexible and considerate about their needs.
Every offer and every home is different and because there are so many different parties involved, communication is key. We'd love to help you make an offer on your perfect Las Cruces home. Contact us at any time.