Unfortunately, not every offer on a home is a winner, especially in competitive markets. But, that’s not to say that you should just sit back and wait for fate to take its course.
If you’ve had bad luck with submitting offers and want to make sure that the next one you submit sticks, we’ve laid out some of our best tips to help you get noticed by sellers.
Here's how to stand out from the crowd & help your next offer rise to the top:
1. Have a valid pre-approval ready to go
Did you know that getting pre-qualified isn’t going to cut it when submitting offers anymore? These days, sellers require a bit more proof that you’re financially able to buy the home. This proof comes in the form of a pre-approval letter, which is a document stating that a lender has vetted your finances and has agreed to loan you money up to a specified amount.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have one of these letters in hand, you could be getting passed over for more secure offers.
The pre-approval process can take up to two weeks, so you’ll want to get started with it as soon as possible. Go see a lender you can trust, and have them walk you through the required documentation.
Then, once you have your pre-approval letter in hand, you can start your home search in earnest. That way, when you do find a property you love, you’ll have the necessary paperwork to show the seller that you are more than qualified to by the home.
2. See more homes ASAP
Schedules get hectic, and sometimes, house hunting can feel like just another thing to tackle on your never-ending to-do list.
However, when you let an open house go by unattended, you miss out on a chance to submit an offer on a home before the competition has a chance to realize what they’re missing.
The reality is, if you’re seriously interested in buying, house hunting needs to be a priority in your schedule. The earlier you view a home -- and get around to submitting an offer, if you’re interested -- the more likely you are to catch the seller’s attention. It’s much better to have submitted the first offer than to have yours get lost in the middle of the pack.
Be sure to check your Open Listings feed frequently, so that you’re aware of when a property becomes available that piques your interest.
Go to the first available open house. Then, lastly, be sure to submit your offer in a timely manner.
3. Go in strong with your next offer
When you do submit another offer, you’ll want to make sure that it’s strong enough to stand out from the crowd. The unfortunate reality is that we’re in a seller’s market right now, meaning that inventory is low. As a result, buyers have to compete with each other for the few properties that are available.
Now is not the time to try and low-ball the seller to get a deal since they’ll likely have options to choose from. Ultimately, you can only go as high as you feel comfortable. Beyond sale price, there are other things you can do to help your offer become more attractive to the seller. You can ask your agent to find out when the seller is looking to move and agree to match their timeline. Additionally, you can write an offer letter that may help sway the seller emotionally toward picking you.
4. Follow up
After you submit your offer, there are still things you can do to show that you’re still interested in the home. The most effective of which is following up.
To do this, have your buying agent get in touch with the listing agent. Ask when he or she is presenting offers to the seller, and reiterate that you’re willing to work with the seller to negotiate the offer.
Keep in mind, however, that there’s a fine line between being diligent and being annoying.
Under no circumstances do you want to hound the seller for a response. Doing so could turn the seller off, which might result in him or her choosing to go in another direction. Make sure any follow up you make is quick and courteous.