(Published on - 2/14/2017 4:32:04 PM)
For buyers who are just entering the market or for those who have lost out on one or several properties, here are a few tips for putting your best foot forward and successfully navigating a multiple-offer situation.
Follow What is Happening in the Market.
Are homes selling over asking price? Is seller’s underpricing to encourage multiple offers? What are similar properties selling for? An experienced agent, who you trust, can help to determine appropriate value based on the current market trends and can assist in negotiations and advice throughout the process.
Come in Strong Upfront.
If you know, or suspect, that you’re entering a multiple-offer situation, you’ll want to come in strong from the very beginning. Some buyers try to come in low initially as a negotiation strategy; however, if the property is priced well and is expecting multiple bidders, you may not want to risk having the seller disregard your offer immediately for not being a serious contender.
Many agents suggest their sellers counter all of the offers in a multiple-offer situation, but that decision is ultimately up to the seller. They may choose to counter all offers, they may only counter a portion of the best offers, or they may decide to choose an offer after the initial submission with no counters at all.
One of the most important factors when a seller is considering multiple offers is their belief that the chosen buyer is serious about buying the property, and that they have the ability to meet the terms and close the sale. One of the best ways to do this is to come in strong right from the start.
Come in Clean and With as Few Contingencies as Possible.
Make your offer as clean as possible and package everything to be submitted together in a coherent way. You don’t want the seller or their agent to have to chase you for paperwork, signatures or proof of funds.
Unless you’re paying all cash, it may be difficult or impossible to come in completely non-contingent, though there are ways to make your offer more appealing.
If you need financing, get a Pre-Approval Letter (vs. Pre-Qualification Letter) from your lender to prove your chances of getting your mortgage approved are excellent.
Be Flexible With the Seller’s Needs.
It sounds simple, but many agents and their buyers don’t take advantage of this simple step. Another easy way to make your offer stand out above the others is to have your agent find out what terms the seller is looking for and meet those needs.
For example: Do they want a long escrow period because their next home won’t be ready yet? Are they requesting a leaseback? Do they want to close quickly because they have already purchased and closed on a new property? Price and financing are not always the number one concern to a seller, so meeting their other terms is another way to make your offer more attractive.
Create a Personal Connection.
Can a personal letter really work? The answer is yes, depending on the property, adding a personal touch to your offer can have an impact.
A personal letter to the seller letting them know how much you love their home and how much you’ll enjoy it and will take care of it may be just the edge you need to overcome another prospective buyer.
Taking the time to write a thoughtful note also shows your dedication to the purchase and ensures the seller that you are a serious buyer.
Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the Bidding War.
Try to stay level-headed and make sure that you are completely comfortable with your offer and terms and that you're not over-bidding just to win the property, only to feel you’ve overpaid afterwards. You want to come in with your best offer possible, as long as it still complies with your needs and goals.
Stay Positive and Keep Your End Goals in Mind.
It can be incredibly frustrating to buy a home in a competitive marketplace but it is normal for buyers to lose out on several homes before one sticks.
Sometimes it takes a few times around to fully understand the process and what is necessary to win in a multiple-offer situation. Working with a professional who you trust and respect can help the process feel less daunting.
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*Partial resource: Excerpts from an article How to Navigate a Multiple Offer Situation written by Sally Forster Jones 8/5/2016 for US News