Can you sweeten a purchase offer, without raising it?

Asked by Trulia Atlanta, Atlanta, GA Tue Apr 16, 2013

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Ruth Barsich’s answer
Ruth Barsich, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Wed Apr 17, 2013
This may sound a little odd, but when purchasing my first home, which had two other very interested parties, I offered to adopt the sellers' cat which they wouldn't be able to take with them. It worked, and the cat didn't have to go through the stress of a move. So there are lots of things that could sweeten the pot. If you have an opportunity to meet the sellers prior to making an offer, listen carefully to their situation and their needs/wants. Quite often, money isn't the only thing they're looking for. Most people want to sell their home to someone who will appreciate it, so never make negative comments in the presence of the seller. Personally, I'd choose a buyer who would compliment me on my landscaping over someone who might indicate that the first thing they'd do is pull up my plants. Remember, emotions can really affect the seller's decisions.
4 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Apr 16, 2013
There are unlimited ways to 'sweeten' a purchase offer.
The ones that work, however, must have real value for the seller.
Sometimes it's as simple as assisting them with their complications of moving.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
2 votes
Joshua Jarvis, Agent, Duluth, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Absolutely! In a short sale, the terms (due diligence period, contingencies, etc) are more important than price much of the time. Also, stronger financing options can often make the deal more appealing to a seller. Each scenario is different though.
2 votes
Joan Coleman, Agent, Orlando, FL
Sun Apr 21, 2013
Nothing works like full price, no contingencies. In this seller's market with multiple offers you need to make your best offerl. Think of it as it you were the seller, what would you want. Many suggestions posted already are helpful but more often than not its the bottom line to the seller.
1 vote
Darrell Hess, Agent, Asheville, NC
Wed Apr 17, 2013
Communication with the other parties is probably key. The obvious are purchase price, seller concessions, contingencies included and special stipulations. The easier you make it for the seller to sell the better your offer will be. Seek advise from your agent on a home by home basis or if you don't have an agent get one now!
1 vote
Shane Jarmin, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
If you can't make a full price offer here are a few ways

Offer A LOT of Earnest Money
Don't make your Due Diligence longer than 7 Days
Don't ask for an arm and a leg in Closing Costs
Don't ask for a Termite Bond, Warranty, and petty appliances
Offer to be flexible on the Sellers Closing Date
1 vote
Stephanie Mc…, Agent, Canton, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Absolutely you can. The offer is about terms as well as price. I have seen many sellers accept a lower priced offer in favor of a cash sale or faster closing, more time in the property post closing, less closing cost contribution or zero contribution. There are many ways to sweeten a deal.
1 vote
Jeffrey K. C…, Agent, Hiram, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Offer cash, keep your offer clean. What I mean by that is don't ask for termite systems, homeowner warranties, and don't ask for a ton in closing costs. I tell my buyers. "The cleaner the offer the better the offer" Please note that more than likely you will not be the only person making an offer on a home.
1 vote
Robert Robbi…, , Atlanta, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Several ways.
Offer cash (they know you won't have issues with financing and will colose quick)
Reduce any Seller Concessions you may have asked for (Seller paying some of your closing costs)
offer a Short time frame to close(If your lenders can do it in that time frame-we can do 3 weeks in some cases)

I hope these help.

Rob Robbins
Senior Mortgage Consultant
Cornerstone Mortgage Group
6151 Powers Ferry Road NW
Suite 610 Atlanta GA 30339
Office 678-578-7613
Cell 404-932-5353
1 vote
Lisa Crowder, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Closing date is also an important negotiable term. Some sellers need to move out quickly, so a quick closing will help your offer. Others aren't ready to move yet (may be waiting on new house to close or be renovated, etc.) so a drawn out closing works better for them. Find out what works best for them and try to accommodate it. It's not always just about the money.
1 vote
Sarah Moore, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Yes definitely-there are a number of things you can do to make an offer more appealing to a seller. The obvious are ask for $0 in seller paid closing costs and minimal extra stips. In today's market, with multiple offers, I find that as-is sales go a long way with a seller (ask for a due diligence stating you will basically not ask for any repairs) or no appraisal contingency (if you can cover the difference in cash IF you get a lower appraisal, which has not happened to me yet with this scenario). I would be happy to discuss other strategies with you.

Sarah Moore
The Live in Atlanta GA Team
Keller Williams Atlanta Midtown
1 vote
Jaquillia Jo…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
No closing cost...Your Realtor!
0 votes
Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Price, terms and time - all in counterbalance.

Trulia Atlanta - please ask tougher questions.
0 votes
David Herren, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Hi Trulia Atlanta,

Every blank line on the purchase offer where a number or a date belongs is an opportunity to sweeten the deal. I think the responders below gave away just about all the candy I can think of.

Just as important as what what you offer is when you offer it. That is where experience counts.


Dave Herren
Best Atlanta Properties
0 votes
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