The real estate market is as competitive as it has ever been. It’s definitely a sellers’ market, so you need to make sure that any offer you make is as strong as possible. An important aspect of a good offer is to avoid mistakes that will irritate the seller.
Selling a home, even though there are probably multiple prospective buyers that will be interested in it, is a stressful proposition. Sellers can be very uptight for a number of reasons, so it’s a really good idea to be aware of issues to avoid.
Consider some basic facts:
- Anyone who has lived in a home for a while has some emotional attachment to it. If the sellers have spent time and care on the home, the yard or any other part of the property, they will probably want to know that their work is appreciated.
- Sellers have probably heard horror stories about offers that went all the way to closing BUT didn’t happen because the prospective buyers had weak financing. Anything that sets off the “Uh oh, this offer is being made by someone who may get turned down for financing” alarm will NOT be looked at favorably.
- NOBODY likes to feel that someone is trying to bully them into a quick decision, especially in the overheated market of today. Don’t do anything that looks like you’re trying to put one over on the sellers.
- Set the stage for a good reception by being on your best behavior. We all would like to do business with someone who is not tough to deal with! Another thing sellers have heard about are unreasonable requests AFTER an offer has been made. They don’t want to be hassled.
So, here are some tips to make YOUR offer the one that the sellers will feel is the best deal for them – emotionally as well as financially:
- Do NOT badmouth the property! Everyone has their own idea of what is tasteful. Your goal is to get the deal done, not to be a critic. Buying a home has a lot in common with dating. When you want to ask someone out, you wouldn’t start by telling what you don’t like about them. Otherwise, you don’t have a chance!
- Make sure you look strong on the financing for the home. Cheesy things like blacking out the loan amount for which you are pre-approved can trigger the “uh oh” alarm. That’s the last thing you need to do, it makes your offer look weak as in “I am on a tight budget or only approved for $X.”
- Give the seller sufficient time to respond, especially in a competitive bid situation. It’s a very bad idea to risk annoying them by making an offer that DEMANDS an answer within 4 hours. Give them 24 to 48 hours to reply. They KNOW you want the house and will respond a lot better if it doesn’t look like you’re trying to bulldoze them.
- Position yourself as being a reasonable person. Don’t we all want to avoid troublesome people? Sellers will notice how you behave, which will affect how they evaluate whether they want to deal with you over the next 30-60 days. If you are seen as being “nice,” even if you get a counter offer, it will almost certainly be reasonable.
People who act in a highhanded way will probably NOT get the same counter offer. If the sellers feel that you’re people they want to avoid doing business with, they won’t be kind.