How to Win an Offer

Get Prequalified
The last thing you want is the seller having doubts about your financing, next to someone else who is fully pre-qualified.

Present the Offer in Person
When the buyer's agent presents the buyer's offer in person, the seller can ask questions and get reassurances for his concerns. In a hot or even luke-warm market, faxing it in just won't do.

Know what the sellers want
Meet the concerns of the seller. Often the listing agent will have a long list of the sellers requirements in the sale. If you can't meet those requirements, you would do well to have your agent inquire of the listing agent if the sellers are prepared to waver on the issue at hand. If not, there isn't much point in presenting an offer which doesn't meet core seller requirments.

In any case, ask your agent to prepare a summary to accompany your offer. This summary is a chance to tell the seller something about yourself and to highlight the positive aspects of your offer.

Multiple Offers
Keep your agent there or in close touch with the listing agent. There is often a chance to lose at the last minute – and the contrary – to win the house of your dreams. But multiple offers can be very time-consuming. Be sure you will be able to present a convincing offer before spending your evening and the evening of your agent participating in bids.

Resist the Temptation to Lowball
One of the worst things a buyer can do is offend the seller with a lowball offer. In the case of a low-enough offer, the seller will often become insulted and will prefer to give the house to almost any other buyer, even if you deliver a comparable or even slightly higher offer later.

Be sure to consult carefully with your agent and come up with a fair and reasonable offer before going storming in.

On the other hand, presenting a convincing offer early with no preconditions and pre-approved financing can sometimes win a property before it goes to multiple offers. A good agent will have a feel for both the seller as well as knowing the track record of the selling agent. Tell your agent about your real bottom line for the property and ask your agent how to best handle this particular situation – whether it's worth presenting an advance bid.

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