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Real Estate Tips | 25 Posts
February
9

How to Structure a Competitive Offer


So you've gone on showings and you feel like you've found a property that meets your needs. What's next?

Well, you're going to need to offer to purchase with hope that the seller accepts your offer— we call this entering into contract. If you've followed our advice so far, you have your pre-approval letter, you've looked over the disclosures on the home, and your stellar agent has answered your questions about the property. So, you've done everything you need in order to prepare to make an offer.

But if you know anything about the market right now, there are more buyers than there are homes available. That means you need more than just an offer. You need to make a competitive offer. So how do you do that?

Hopefully, you and your agent discussed competitive strategies in the buyer consultation. If not, you'll want to have that conversation. They will likely have advice for you, but it should include some combination of the following:

  1. Your agent should be reaching out to the listing agent right away to see if the sellers are looking for anything in particular in an offer. Often, sellers are appreciative of extended possession after closing, earnest money, or shorter inspection periods, etc.
  2. Escalation clauses are a good way to be competitive on price that still protects you. With this clause, you can offer to pay a certain dollar amount over the highest offer, so long as it does not exceed the cap amount that you determine for yourself. The purchase price can land anywhere in between your offer price (likely the asking price) and your cap.
  3. Appraisal gap clauses also help make your offer more competitive, and they add a lot of meat to your offer if you use the escalation clause or offer over asking. If you have more cash that you can use to close the deal, you can offer to cover any gap that may occur between the contract price and a low appraisal. This will give the seller more confidence that the deal will close at the price agreed upon.
  4. It's also important that you have a pre-approval with a reputable and local lender that the sellers will feel confident in. Find someone who has the reputation of closing deals, and closing them on time.

Last year, many buyers were waiving home inspections all-together in order to be more competitive. We strongly discourage waiving inspections unless you have extensive experience as a home inspector yourself, or as a contractor. As an alternative to waiving inspections, discuss shortening your inspection window or limiting the types of inspections you perform with your agent. Just make sure this is an appropriate strategy for you. If the home is older, or has a lot of signs of disrepair, it is likely not a bad idea to waive any inspections.

We'll talk more in depth about inspections in our next Buyer Education Series module. We hope you're finding this information helpful! If you would like to speak with an agent about your real estate goals, don't hesitate to reach out! Contact Us

Until then,
Cassie Johnson
Key Realty - John Yoder Team

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