Competing Against Multiple Offers

fourth of july

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  We are entering the month of July, the last month in Orlando’s peak real estate season.  If you are still in the market to buy or sell a home, give us a call without delay!  We will provide timely insights that you may find helpful.

Q: I have made offers on several homes without success.  What will help me in a multiple offers competing situation?

A: I can completely sympathize with your frustration.  If you are currently looking to buy a home below $250,000, the competition can be fierce.  If the home is well presented and priced properly, your chance of competing with other buyers in a multiple offers bidding situation is very high.  Although there is no magic bullet that can guarantee your offer is accepted, as a listing specialist, I can share with you the factors that the sellers consider when they are choosing from multiple offers.

Basically, sellers are looking for the highest net price and the smoothest transaction, with the least amount of hassle and uncertainty.  So keep these factors in mind when you structure your offer.

Price: this is the 1st  item a seller looks at, but not just at the offer price but the net.  If you ask the seller to pay for things such as your closing cost, a home warranty, repairs…etc, they will be deducted from the price.

Financing: the seller is looking for confidence that a buyer will successfully achieve loan approval to complete the purchase.  There is nothing more frustrating for a seller than to wait 45 days only to learn the buyer’s loan is denied.  Therefore, cash is king.  Conventional loan is next, with more down payment the better.  Whatever your financing type or terms, be sure you have a strong pre-approval letter from a reputable lender.  You want to show the seller you can get the loan.

Escrow Deposit: this is also called good-faith money.  This shows the seller how much you are willing to forfeit if you do not come to the closing table.  An offer accompanied by a small deposit is considered not serious.  You want to show the seller you are serious.

Closing Datethe seller is looking for a date that works the best for his/her situation.  Your flexibility to accommodate the seller’s needs can work in your favor.

Contingenciesthese are conditions under which a contract can be cancelled.  More contingencies you build into your offer, less certain the closing looks to the seller.

Concessions: make your offer as “clean” as possible.  Don’t ask for things that are not vital to you.  Concessions can be items such as washer and dryer, or requests such as “refinish the pool surface”.  Between 2 similar offers, the seller often chooses the one that asks for less.

Offer PresentationBe sure your offer is presented in the most professional and timely manner.  I regularly receive offer packages that are incomplete or incorrect.   Make sure your offer has a correctly filled out contract, all required forms, as well as a valid pre-approval letter.

Finally, there is nothing more regretful than to learn the seller has chosen another offer, while you’re willing to pay more for that home.  Remember a seller is not obligated to respond to offers in the order they come in.  In a multiple offers situation, you may not get a counter-offer or a chance to improve your offer.  You may want to consider making your highest-and-best offer up front to beat out the competition.

Of course, these are very general tips.  Each of these can be an article on its own.  They interplay on multiple levels in negotiation.  Your agent matters.  Having the right representation is crucial.

Best of luck to you.  Hope you will achieve contract and be in your dream home soon!