Home Buying in San Diego>Question Details

Chad Basinger, Real Estate Pro in San Diego, CA

What are agents doing out there to make their offer stand out from the rest of the competition during this shortage of inventory?

Asked by Chad Basinger, San Diego, CA Mon Feb 11, 2013

I realize there are many strategies to employ and am interested in those "outside the box" answers.

Help the community by answering this question:


Not so much out of the box answer but it seems to work: Ask the listing agent what's important to the sellers.

I have found that some of the answers may not even be related to money - 'someone who will enjoy our home as much as we have' has been one. Other times it may be closing timeframe. And yes, some we can not battle - all cash vs VA.

David Rudd
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2013
The best advice I can give is this: Tell the truth, be a good person, and don't get caught up in the heat of the moment.

I know this sounds trivial, however if you give a listing agent a very strong offer, proof of funds, and minimal contingecies, (without jeprodizing you buyers)

Letters about your buyers often don't work. Most sellers are focused on the bottom line and are not interested with the "who"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2013
All cash, no contingencies, 5 day close. :-)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
1. Make sure it's a preapproval not just a prequal
2. Consult with the buyers to make sure they really grasp this market
3. Clean, well written offers with proof of funds or recent approval letter subject to appraisal and clean title.
4. Follow up after emailing offer (better yet, hand deliver the offer with a bundt cake or something that makes it stand out).
5. Earnest money in the 10% range if possible
6. Let the listing side know that you're not just out writing a bunch of offers
7. Draft a quick story about your buyers and the life they want to create in that home
8. Do comps and justify why your offer is solid, not crazy over list price and right in line with an appraisal.
9. Address any issues with the home up front and what your buyer is prepared to do should a problem arise.
10. Keep the ego at the door and create a win win for all parties.

Chris Whittaker
Solutions Real Estate
Carlsbad, CA
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
The "horse ranch' property just received an offer.
What I wanted to see in that purchase offer was....

That means....minimal contingencies.
FHA? Address the appraisal gaming that will occur.

Conventional? Demonstrate closing date flexibility.

The lower offer WAS accepted because of the "POTENTIAL" cost incurred if a higher offer fails to meet the closing date or attempts an ambush the owner later.

An 'outside the box' offer would articulate the compensation to the seller if that Utah lender fails in meeting their obligation. It's not always the price, but assurance is golden.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
Better offer shorter escrow usually works.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
It's dog eat dog out there. The best way to get consideration I have found is to be aggressive and draft a letter to seller stating how much you love the property and how perfect it is for your family, etc,etc. i am finding that works fairly well and tugs at seller heart string !!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
Chad, I am working with a few agents in California who have thoroughly impressed me with how fast they have been able to get offers accepted...and for FHA and VA clients!!! In fact, one file was FHA and beat out a higher cash offer. The strategies all had the following in common:

1). I was the lender (LOL!)...I do not do any prequals. Ever. My Company is well respected and well known.

2). Offer was submitted with AUS (automated underwriting file) evidencing that everything in my preapproval letter was supported and evidenced.

3). Offer submitted with full 3.5% down payments as EMD or, in the case of VA, full 3% EMD to show evidence of closing costs/prepaids.

4). A very personal and specific letter about the borrowers, their thoughts and dreams for the home and their desire to have THAT particular home.

This very personal way of submitting offers has worked successfully in both NoCal and SoCal. Even my Team was blown away by the offer and the letter/EMD.

I can help you with Number 1!!!! :-)!!!!

Best of luck,

NMLS #279125
(951) 795-4547
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2013
I agree with all the previous answers. It would always be great to have all cash buyers but that isn't always the case. Clean offers with short time frames for all contingencies, quick close of escrow, proof of funds, pre-approval letter from buyer's lender, no seller concessions after inspections (as-is) sale, buyer inspection time frames as quickly as possible so if buyer not satisfied can allow seller to move on to next buyer. Personal letter from buyer explaining why they would love and care for home is always a good idea. Especially in a market where there are multiple offers and buyers agents aren't usually given an opportunity to present the offer in person to seller. If multiple offer situation, buyer's should always come in with their highest and best offer (based on comparable sales) upfront. Appraisal issues may arise during escrow but they can then be addressed if necessary. The low inventory levels in the Santa Barbara market is pushing prices up, up and up! Multiple offers are the norm lately. Buyers are encouraged to act quickly to view properties and make offers within the first few days on market. Some homes don't even make it but just a few days before they're pending sales. The early bird gets the worm!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 13, 2013
Calling the listing agent to find out if he has multiple offers in the property already. If that is not the case, I will prepare an offer with a higher amount than the listing price, no asking the seller to pay for anything at closing and always attached copy of the pre approved letter or proof of funds.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

Century 21 tenace

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
Even offering to put up a little more earnest money up front always helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
Along with my other comments regarding the actual RPA, there is another aspect worth mentioning. When I make my first call to a listing agent, I treat the conversation like a verbal job interview. I want to make sure the listing agent can tell I am professional, experienced, and communicate well. Hopefully, those points will be reinforced by a well written and complete offer package.

When I am on the listing side, I cringe when I get a handwritten offer which has already been faxed a few times and is no longer legible or incomplete.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
This one may raise an eyebrow or two but...

For traditional sales -
Short inspection timeline and state in the RPA that the buyer will not request any repairs or a repair credit. If an inspection reveals something that was not obvious or disclosed, the buyer can walk (nothing new there). If there is nothing significant discovered, the transaction moves on. The RPA already states the sales is an "as is" transaction but too many agents try to renegotiate after the home inspection. Making the intention known before the offer is accepted would go a long way to show the seriousness of the buyer.

For short sales - I'm not going to share my secret on that one. ;)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
I've been encouraging my agents to offer a shorter escrow term. What might be just as good, if not better, than a higher offer/more money, (that may not even appraise, and cause major headaches, and could potentially even cause the buyer to cancel)but to pay them faster! If you could close the loan sooner, and the seller is paid faster, what could be better! It's definitely been working!!! :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
While I like the idea, are you able to get a financed deal closed in less than 30 days?
Flag Mon Feb 11, 2013
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