Home Buying in 90404>Question Details

Grace Cheng, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Is it likely to get a condo offer accepted with only 10% down?

Asked by Grace Cheng, Los Angeles, CA Mon Nov 11, 2013

I have the preapprovals and income to secure the loan but worried that sellers won't consider an offer with only 10% down payment.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Grace,

Yes, it is definitely possible, you just need a good buyer's agent to help you through the process and write up the offer correctly and to your advantage. There are different strategies that we can use to help you get your offer accepted with a low down payment, depending on whether or not there are multiple offers on the property, how long the property has been on the market, etc.

I have even had clients recently get their offer accepted with just 7% down! You may or may not get the first offer you make accepted, but you should keep trying and you will definitely be able to find something!

Please feel free to contact me directly at (310) 717-1321 or JamieTian@RodeoRE.com with any other questions/concerns. I would be happy to email you a list of properties currently on the market in your price range, as well as show you any properties you are interested in, and guide you through the home buying process.


Jamie Tian
Rodeo Realty
(310) 717-1321
BRE #01920120
Web Reference: http://www.JamieTian.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 11, 2013
Hi Grace,

It is possible however, you will need a really good lender because your loan will require PMI (mortgage insurance) since it is less than 20% down. Also, if the property is a condo/townhome, then it may be just a little difficult (because of HOA financials). Again, a good lender is important.

In regards to the offer-- you need an agent that will guide you with an offer that is enticing to the seller (a good amount over asking price etc).

PS I also work on the Westside (LA, Westwood, Century City, Santa Monica)

Good luck,
Sara Mehrpouyan
Rodeo Realty
Direct 818-903-2040
Bre License #01712757

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Get a Home Value Estimate ONLINE here: http://www.GetLosAngelesHomeValue.com

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
Sure, there are lots of things that go into an offer besides the price and down payment. Make sure that all of the other terms in the offer ensure a smooth transaction.

J.R. Thrasher
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
As long as you make the best offer then you should have no problem getting the offer accepted. If you have the same offer as someone you might be in trouble then.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
Yes, definitely! I have a client we just closed with only 3% down payment. Hire a local real estate expert, this will help you greatly! There is no cost for hiring your own exclusive buyers agent as the seller pays our commission. They can help you with locating the properties, setting up appointments, writing the offer, negotiations, inspections, all the way through the close of escrow.

Feel free to contact me anytime at 310-923-2334

Have a great day,
Heather Paul, Broker Associate, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
I closed a condo in LA recently where my buyer only put 5% down. It's possible you could get a place with that little down as well. The only difference with the Mortgage Lender is they need to do a "Full Review" of the HOA. This means they have to look a little closer at the finances of the HOA vs. a "Limited Review" if a buyer is putting 20%+ down.

The whole idea 'out there' that a buyer is Stronger or Weaker by what they put down has always infuriated for me. On my listings I will state clearly "We don't discriminate the type of financing you choose" & it should be like that throughout the land, but it's not, unfortunately. At the end of the day (closing), the seller gets the same net if a buyer puts $1 down or 20% down.

It is all in how your offer is presented to the seller, showing them that it doesn't matter What you're putting down, but that you're Fully Qualified, are willing to be Cross Qualified if the seller wishes & that you CAN close, the seller WILL get their money & everyone will be happy!

The buyer I'm referring to, who put 5% down, she called me after I answered a question for her here on Trulia too. :-)

Shoot me an email directly or give me a call if you'd like to discuss this further, I don't look back on this same Trulia posting for Replies or Answers posted after mine

Emily S. Knell
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since--- 1996
Realty ONE Group
BRE# 01211967
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013

It is not so much the down payment, as it is how the offer is written and presented.

An experienced Realtor will be able to walk you through your options, and what may be the outcomes of each.

For example, some sellers are weary of accepting all cash offers, as nearly 30% of these cash offers fall through during Escrow, for many reasons. Some examples are the all cash buyer requestng price reductions during the inspection period, or requesting high dollar repair requests.

A 10%, 20% or 30% down payment, should not be looked at differently than any other type of offer.

It all comes down to how the offer is written and presented by the experienced Realtor.

Talk to a buyer's agent, before placing your offer, or contact me to represent you. I don't charge a fee to buyers, when representing them.

Douglas Lagos
Tel.(310) 463-8088
Coldwell Banker Residential
CA BRE # 10921046
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
I agree !
Flag Sun Dec 22, 2013
yes... but especially if you make a VERY strong offer ... OVER full price with as short an escrow as possible
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 11, 2013
If you make a good offer then you should be fine. I have closed FHA loans where 3.5% down was accepted. As long as you have a good agent and lender, then you should be fine. If you need a loan then I recommend you speak with a California lender like myself. I would be more than happy to speak with you to help you get the loan that you need. Well I hope this helps! If you have any other questions or if you would like a loan, feel free to contact me. Good luck! Brian Nguyen Sr. Mortgage Banker Phone: 949.667.2887 brian.nguyen@nafinc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 10, 2014
Hi Grace,
A 10% down is not that uncommon with buyers now. As long as your credit is good and your offer is also, you should be able to be competitive. By the way, My market is West Los Angeles, South Bay and Beach Cities!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 22, 2013
I am astonished to see answers from agents saying 10% down is "not uncommon nowadays." It makes me wonder what market and what area they are in. What you can do is put a higher downpayment on the offer and then after acceptance obtain the loan with a lower downpayment (but be prepared to put the higher downpayment in the event you can't get the lower downpay loan), but the answer to your question is... in 2013 in 90404, and all other things being somewhat equal (e.g. offer price) the reality is you are unlikely to get your offer accepted with only 10% downpayment stated on your offer. I think agents are saying what you want to hear so they can get the business... but I think you deserve a candid and honest answer. That said, you might get your offer accepted, but it will be an unusual situation where there is no competition or your offer is way higher than other buyers, i.e. there will be a caveat of some kind to explain the deviation from the norm. Try to think of other things that will make your offer attractive - e.g. Seller lease back for free a couple of weeks. No repairs, no termite, no home warranty etc; something of value that warrants the Seller taking a punt on you. I wish you the best of luck. And rest assured... the market is always changing. These conditions will also change. Only 3 years ago Sellers couldn't find a buyer to save their life. The market ebbs and flows, and it will be a buyers market again in good time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 21, 2013
It all depends upon how many people are bidding on the same property and how good their offers are. I agree with many of the comments below...and the condo must qualify for your type of loan. You might want to look into the HOA's financials, make sure they have a strong reserve and have no pending litigation against them. In some cases, even though you have a strong offer, due to pending litigation, some lenders won't lend on a property like that...it is too much of a risk.

So do your homework Grace. Check out the HOA first. Even though you may have the highest and strongest offer, you have to make sure that the property and HOA is strong too!

Your agent should help you trudge through writing the best offer with the best terms and price for your circumstances.

Good luck!

All the best,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
In my experience and in the current market... it is likely that a Seller will prefer an offer with a higher downpayment than 10%. If your offer price is substantially higher than the competition, and your loan broker is communicative and vocal with the Seller as to how confident he is that you can get the loan.... then a lower downpayment such as 10% may not be an issue. But to answer your question... all other things being equal... and in this market... no, Sellers are not likely to accept a 10% downpayment and will instead lean toward buyers that have more 'skin in the game.' This is unfortunate, as it's not a matter of you qualifying for a loan, but rather Sellers feeling the abundance of buyers and being picky... because they can. I'm sure this will change as more Sellers enter the market and shift the balance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
P.S. Douglas is right about some buyers using cash (or just higher) offers as a way to tie up a property and renegotiate after the fact. Not much you can do about this...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
Hi Grace,

Likely is a funny word to use because every situation is different and it's ultimately up to you and the seller's if a deal is made... not the agents.

Are there competing offers for the property... higher offers can be more attractive to sellers, but the right amount to offer has more to do with the value and condition of the property, how it's priced relative to other homes in the area, how long it's been on the market, how eager the owners are to sell, and anything else you can think of that may bear on the outcome. The selling price has nothing to do with the asking price and its not the only factor to consider.

Sellers should be more concerned about the likelihood of a deal succeeding in funding and closing than the size of the down payment. Though some think that a larger down payment demonstrates a greater ability to pay, if a buyer has money in the bank and good credit a 10% down offer (or less) is better than one at 20% where the buyers are stretching their resources too far. However, cash offers from a buyer with proven assets are generally preferable to any financed offer as there are no loan contingencies to derail a deal... one less thing!

You'll also find situations where sellers are asking buyers to waive important contingencies like appraisals or inspections though you might think seven or eight times before agreeing to these types of terms.

Any number of other issues can also affect the outcome on an offer from things as simple as do the sellers like the buyers or think that they won't cut down the tree out front to a longer escrow and short-term leaseback to give the sellers time to find a new home or their not having to pay $500 for a home warranty policy.

People are unpredictable. There are lots of of ways to sweeten an offer and it's sometimes hard to say just what issue big or small will kill a deal. Just do your best to weigh all the factors and take advantage of your agent's experience in helping you make the decision that's best for you.

Also remember to not get too caught up in the moment.. If you've found the perfect home then do what it takes, but these are few and far between and there will usually be others.

Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 12, 2013
Hi! Grace,
It is possible, as long as your lender agrees.
We have a variety of strategies we use for buyers like you.
Contact us, and let's figure out a plan for you.


Jodi Summers
The SoCal Investment Real Estate Group
Sotheby’s International Realty
License # - 01343854
The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 11, 2013
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