I'm a Mortgage Banker with 23 years working with First Time Buyers. I'm helping my clients---FHA and VA and Conventional---get their deals accepted against competing Offers by teaching my clients to get all their "ducks in a row" and demonstrate they are the most serious Buyers for any given property. Realtors work harder to put a deal together when the Buyer is fully-prepared to move forward and SERIOUS. Many Buyers will waste the Realtors' and the Sellers' time; not my clients!
Here's my Primer on getting Offers of ANY type accepted in ANY market, "Five Steps To Making An Offer."
STEP 1. Always make offers in writing. Yes, it is absolutely true that offers can be presented verbally. Donâ€™t do that. Put your offer in writing every time. Even if you are in a situation where you and the Seller are sending counter offers back and forth, every new offer should be in writing.
When your offer is in writing, you come across to the Seller as serious. Think about it, anyone who is taking the time to go in to the real estate office and sign the form is serious about buying a home. Seriousness counts big time.
Put the following into your written offer:
-The amount of your â€œearnest money depositâ€ or â€œgood faith deposit.â€ That is the amount of money youâ€™ll put into escrow with the Sellerâ€™s attorney upon signing the contract of sale.
-The amount of your mortgage financing. Of course youâ€™ll back this up with a prequalification letter, but you must include the amount of your mortgage in the offer.
-Items included in the sale. If the appliances and the chandelier in the dining room are to be included in the sale, make sure they are written in to the offer. This shows the homeowner you were paying attention when you inspected the home and asked, â€œWhatâ€™s included in the sale?â€
-Attorney Information: the name, telephone and fax numbers for your attorney.
-Anticipated contract date. Always make this date within 48 hours of your offer. Present the assumption the Seller will accept your offer and immediately forward a contract to your attorney.
Again, this demonstrates to the Seller how serious you are. You are in effect saying, â€œI am so serious about buying this home I want to sign the contract immediately!â€ Imagine how many other Buyers out there are delaying things like signing the contract (and potentially changing their minds).
-Anticipated closing date. This is an interesting point for the offer. I always recommend putting the closing date for an offer within thirty days of the contract. The fact is most closings take place within 60 days of contract, and your attorney will likely put that in the contract, but if your offer says â€œthirty days,â€ once again you demonstrate how serious you are about buying the home.
STEP 2. Prequalification letter. Your mortgage professional should be available to fax a prequalification letter within hours of your making your offer; even on Saturdays or Thursday evenings.
STEP 3. Mortgage pro phone call. I think a phone call from your mortgage professional to the Listing Agent is a home run. When the Listing Agent hears from the mortgage person directly how eminently qualified you are, imagine how that raises your profile to the agent and the Seller!
STEP 4. Engineer ready to go. When you sign your offer, be sure to tell your Realtor that youâ€™ve already spoken with your Home Inspector and you can have the inspection done tomorrow. Whoa, thatâ€™s really the mark of a serious Buyer!
STEP 5. Get ready with your counteroffer. If you offered less than the asking price, then you need be prepared with your counter offer if the Seller either declines or counters your opening offer. All of the steps above should be repeated with the new price replacing the original number. Organization and swift responses rule the day! Oh, you may not want to counter offer. Thatâ€™s okay, too.