What does it take to purchase a home in today’s market? More than you might think. In addition to the effort to find a home with such low inventory, multiple offers are the new norm in certain areas of Portland. This means buyers have to put their best foot forward when writing their offer. If there are terms or pricing issues, it’s unlikely we’ll see a counter offer; they’ll select another offer. We won’t win them all but we can raise the odds.
The highest dollar offer may be the most appealing on first blush but it doesn’t necessarily make it the best offer. If you’re writing an offer and expect to be competing, ask yourself, “What is the most amount of money I am willing to pay for the property and will be okay with it if someone else gets their offer accepted by offering a dollar more?”
Cash might be king but you can go further than just a simple pre-approval letter with a lender. Some lenders will take your file all the way to their underwriter to run your scenario by them prior to actually writing an offer. Those extra steps can be conveyed to the seller to show that you are a solid buyer and have done your homework. It’s still not loan guarantee but its another way to tip the scales. Typically a local lender will be looked on favorably over one without a local presence: if you can walk through their door, though you may never do that, you’re in good shape. If they’re in New Jersey and leave the office at 2PM Pacific time you might want to reconsider or get a second, local opinion.
Other terms to consider are the amount of earnest money. It’s going to be part of your down payment and anything under $10,000 is a small claims court issue if there is a dispute. The earnest money is the only thing a buy can be held to to close a transaction. If there isn’t a contingency that allows the buyer to terminate the sale and the buyer changes their mind about buying, that money would be forfeited to the seller. We’ll talk about an appropriate amount for your situation.
What’s the seller’s plan? We’ll try to find out. Maybe they need two weeks of “rent-back,” where they get to stay in the home after closing so that they can close on their new home and move out. Let them stay there for two weeks for free? Being flexible there might be a difference maker. Presenting in person may be appropriate too- us as Realtors to the seller and listing agent, not you. We would like you to be “standing by the phone” though so if the seller asks if you’ll do XYZ, we can get an answer right then and there rather than having to get back to them later with your answer.
The “buyer love letter” needs to be handled with care. There is a fine line of stepping over Fair Housing laws with them.
Every situation is unique so there’s no definitive way to get an offer accepted. You might not win them all but you want to know that you did everything you could and were comfortable with, and that we did too, in order to give you the best shot at getting the offer accepted.