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How to Write the Winning Offer

It’s no secret that the market is HOT but landing a home for your buyer clients is not impossible. With a little bit of luck and some of our strategies, you’ll be at the closing table in no time.

Work the Agent

Remember that a real person is on the other end of the computer reading the offer you just submitted. Find out if you’ve ever been in the same room as the agent or if someone in your firm has, and make sure the other agent knows about your connection. If you aren’t networking with agents in your area, maybe this is your sign to start.

Additionally, make sure the other agent knows that you are a professional and will handle the transaction accordingly. If the seller’s agent wants to work with you, they may present your offer in a way that is favorable for your clients!

Prep Your Clients

You have got to get your clients all the way together. Financing needs to be squared away, and with many buyers on the market for extended periods, you need to keep track of when your buyer’s preapproval expires. You and your clients need to know exactly how much they can put down for a down payment. Talk to your client’s mortgage broker about different restrictions that may apply to the money they receive as a gift from relatives they intend to use as a down payment.

If your clients already have a home they need to sell to buy their new home, talk to them about selling their home and getting a leaseback from the buyer. Make sure that they know that submitting an offer contingent on the sale of their old home may hurt their offer.

Submit Your Offer Well

Every ‘i’ must be dotted and every ‘t’ crossed in this market. There is no room for error. Fill out the offer to purchase completely and proofread it before submitting it. Please pay attention to any agent remarks about what the sellers may be looking for in an offer (preferred closing date, closing attorney, or due diligence date), and possibly reach out to the agent to ask them directly. You should highlight any of these requests that your clients can meet in the offer summary that you send to the agent with your offer.

Send a copy of your buyer’s preapproval and proof of funds for their down payment or entire offer if they are paying cash.

Also, make sure your clients know that they should submit their highest and best offer as their first offer. In this market, you can get a house or get a deal, but probably not both.

Avoid the Bidding War All Together

Submit your client’s offer early! This involves a coordinated effort between you and your clients to be the first to view properties when they come onto the market and to get your offer in quickly after viewing the property. Time is of the essence!

When you submit one of the first offers, there is a chance the seller could accept your offer on the spot. Some sellers just want to get it sold so they can move on to their next property!

Another tactic to try when submitting early offers is to put an expiration date on the offer. You could say that the offer expires in 24 hours, for example, or you could say that your buyers will pay an additional amount of money over the price they are offering if the offer is accepted by a particular time. Anything to push the seller to sign now, before they get other offers, is a great strategy.

Money Talks

With all this being said, one of the most critical aspects of an offer is the purchase price. You may have to level with your clients and tell them that they may not get a home in today’s market if they aren’t willing to pay.

In this market, the asking price is just the starting bid. Encourage your clients to look at homes listed below their maximum budget to have room to offer over the asking price. Just do a good CMA and let the buyer know what the property will likely appraise for so they know how much money they may have to bring to the closing table to support their offer. If the appraisal comes in low, the seller likely will not agree to adjust the purchase price, so your buyers need to be prepared.

Do you have any other tips for getting your offer accepted? Sound off in the comments below or share with a colleague in an upcoming CE class!

Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. The services of a private attorney should be sought for legal advice.

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