Top Tips for Writing a Competitive Offer

1. Minimize Contingencies: Are there any items that you can forgo and simply reflect in the offer price? Can you forgo a CL100 Contingency and wrap that into the Due Diligence period? Or maybe you can decrease the Due Diligence period to send a strong signal to the seller that you are a committed buyer. Whatever it is take a look, because the simpler and cleaner an offer is the better chances it has of being accepted.

2. Escalation Clause: If you are in a potential multiple offer situation you might elect to include an escalation clause which basically says that you will pay X dollars over the next highest bid up to a maximum amount. This will help ensure that you win out, if you are open to bidding higher. And in the event there isn’t another competitive offer you won’t pay your maximum amount so no harm no foul.

3. Cash: Cash is king, so if you can do this you will have a leg up on offers contingent on financing, and don’t forget you can always go back and secure a mortgage. Just remember you are paying cash so if your offer is accepted you need to provide a verification of cash and be prepared to pay cash at closing.

4. Earnest Money: Increasing this amount from the typical 1% will show greater decisiveness to the seller that you are prepared to close.

5. Seller Wants: Make sure your agent has checked to see what terms matter to the seller with the listing agent. Knowing things like when they can close, or do they not want their furniture, or how quickly can they respond to an offer, goes along way for getting the offer right.

6. Lender Recommendation: Have your lender call and email on your behalf to give extra confidence.

7. Realtor: Partner with a trusted realtor who knows the market, is trusted by other agents as someone who is reliable and easy to work with, and ensure they can negotiate appropriately on your behalf.

8. Closing Costs: Offer to pay closing costs for the seller. Often overlooked, but since this isn’t a common occurrence can really send a nice sentiment to the seller. Ask your Realtor how much the seller will have to pay in deed stamps to see if you can cover that.

9. Repair Amount: Agree to forgo repairs up to a certain dollar amount. This sends the message to the seller that you will be easy to work with and won’t nitpick them on the small menial items.

Source: Kelly Stradling, Realtor®, Smith Spencer Real Estate

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