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9 Tips to Make Your Offer Stand Out

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

Sick of losing out in multiple offers? Here are some creative ways to help your offer stand out against other buyers'. These "tricks" frequently set my clients' offers apart from the multiple others on listings these days, and nearly always help them "win" out and nail down their dream home! Not all offers are created equally ;)

1. Make a Video Offer- Attach a quick 1-2 min video to your offer. This doesn't have to be rocket science, but just a quick little selfie video of you/your family so you can introduce yourselves to the sellers and tell them what you love about their beloved home. Houses are extremely emotional things, so this can really make an impact on their decision making.

While some REALTORS think this can be "inappropriately swaying" or something that could be potentially discriminatory, trust me when I say it's just as easy for a seller to get your name off the paperwork and stalk you on social media. If the sellers want to discriminate against you, they will find a way whether you submit a video offer of not.

We live in a digital age where videos are everything.This works 10/10 times for my clients and a majority of those times the listing agent confides in me that my their offer wasn't even the highest one on the table, but the sellers chose them due to the video. It WORKS!

2. Accommodate The Sellers' Timeline- To the best of your ability (within reason), try to make whatever timeframe the sellers need when putting in an offer. Do they need an extended close so they can find their next home and time things right? Do they need to close in 40 days and rent back from you for 30 so that they can get their money, close on their next home and move? (***this one is great in a way because you won't even have your first mortgage payment until 2 calendar months after closing so you will be MAKING money!) Do they need to close on a Thursday but then give possession to you the following week so that they can close on their next home and move their stuff out that weekend?

Whatever you can make work, do it. This is another thing that wins out homes for my clients when they aren't the "highest" offer on the table. In the sellers' eyes, though, it's the "best" sometimes and most conducive to their needs.

3. Make Your Loan Look More Attractive- Now obviously this one really depends on your financial capabilities, but this can also make a huge difference. If you can justify and qualify taking out a conventional loan over an FHA loan, for example, consider doing so. In the sellers' eyes a conventional loan can be more attractive and a "smoother" process a lot of times.

Another thing you can do to make your loan look more attractive is putting more money down if you can afford to do so. If you have extra money in your savings and are able to put 10% down instead of the minimum 5% on a conventional loan, for example, consider doing so. This is going to show the seller that you have more cash on hand and skills to save, which can be interpreted as a "safer bet" going under contract with you. Whether it's true or not at the end of the day, this is just how listing agents and sellers think.

You can even go above and beyond and request your lender to reach out to the listing agent to not only introduce themself and begin an open line of communication, but also answer any questions or concerns that they legally can.

Now, this is something that most lenders that are working in a different time zone for a large entity may not go out of their way to do, but if you're working with a small town bank or local loan officer they should go out of their way to help you out by doing this. It can also make a huge difference in getting the home of your dreams or not, as simple as it sounds.

4. Offer an Appraisal Gap- This is another controversial one BUT it works. Here's an example of a time when I have personally used an appraisal gap in a safe and smart way.

Our current house was under listed in my professional opinion. We knew all other offers were going to above list price because they could have easily listed our house for $15k more and gotten above. When we submitted our offer, I wrote in an addendum offering that we would "fill any potential appraisal gap by bringing more cash to the table in the form of a down payment".

This was something we could financially do, as we were closing on our previous home and knew how much in equity we were taking out/cash we would have on hand. HOWEVER I was extremely confident based on recent neighborhood comparable homes that this wouldn't happen, anyways.

Guess what?! It appraised at the purchase price and we could stick to our original down payment plan!

While this "trick" isn't for everyone or every home, it can be extremely effective and be portrayed as another "safe bet" in sellers' eyes when they are comparing your offer to others.

5. Submit Organized & COMPLETE Paperwork- Now this one is more for your REALTOR and may seem silly and simple but it is something that one of my coaches instilled into my business from the very first offer I ever submitted. Your offer should be in the format that the listing agent is

asking for (1 doc attached PDF, via Dotloop, etc.), all signatures, dates, initials, etc. need to be filled in appropriately and get it over by the deadline. If they are calling for "highest & best by noon Sunday" get the organized, complete offer over to them with an hour or so at least to spare and make sure they confirm receipt. Respect the seller's time and timeline and your chances of getting the house are stronger!

6. Pay Your Own Closing Costs- Closing costs on the buy side are typically about 1-1.5% of your purchase price. These are costs and fees you have to bring to the table in addition to your down payment. When you get pre-approved, talk to your lender about what these will look like so you know what to prepare for. If you absolutely have to get help from the seller (what we in the biz call "seller concessions") be sure to subtract that off of your purchase price in your mind when you are considering what to come in at in your offer. That is how the sellers will think of it, so be sure to consider their perspective.

Something else you can do, which is RARELY done but can be extremely effective is to offer to pay the sellers' side of closing costs. Rather than "upping" your purchase price another $2-3k, offer to cover the sellers' closing costs if you have the ability to do so. This can ease the sellers' mind in this market a bit rather than adding that $2-3k onto the purchase price because the higher the purchase price, the higher the appraisal needs to come back.

This can manipulate the seller into second guessing another maybe slightly higher offer than yours because at the end of the day they will walk away with the same amount of money in their pockets, but with less of a potential of the appraisal coming back under value and having to renegotiate or the deal fall through.

This has also worked before for myself and my clients, but again, it's only a good idea if you have the financial comfortability and your circumstances call for it.

7. Offer More Earnest Money- Earnest money is the "good faith" almost deposit that you offer to put down right after the seller potentially accepts your offer. This money goes towards your down payment at closing, but gives the seller a little peace of mind while going under contract with you. Typically this is sent to the third party title company for safe keeping.

If you back out for no legally relevant reason, the title company can rule that this goes to the seller to "cushion the blow" of wasting their time with you. However, if you back out due to financing falling through, the inspection(s) going south, etc., you will get this issued back to you. This is basically to make sure you aren't going to waste the sellers' time and decide you don't like the house in the middle of the process, right after acceptance, or prior to closing.

The more you offer in earnest money, the more skin you have in the game. This can appear to the seller that you may be more serious about the house than other buyers offering to put up less earnest money.

While this is typically about .5-1% of your purchase, maybe consider offering to put up 2-3% of the purchase price. Again, this is dependent on your financial comfortability and price range you are shopping in, but can really have an impact on how the sellers view your offer.

8. Buy Your Own Home Buyer Warranty- Offer to pay for your own home buyer warranty at closing. This is typically about $500 and while I totally stand by them, rather than asking the seller to provide it, consider paying for it yourself if you can. You never know what could put you above in a multiple offer situation! It could potentially come down to something as small as $500 and you could win your dream home!

9. Opt In for an "Educational" Home Inspection- I will and have always encouraged my clients to conduct a home inspection, however I think over the past several years, buyers have gotten really carried away asking for pretty minuscule items to be repaired on the ROC (removal of contingencies) after inspections.

Requesting an educational home inspection is assuring the seller that you just want to make sure there aren't going to be any costly repairs in the near future. An educational inspection means that when you get the report back from your inspector, you're either "in or out".

Another idea I love is to put a repair cost limit on an addendum if you prefer, saying that you won't request any repairs "under X amount of dollars". That way, you could request major repairs but you won't ask for something the seller may consider small or over-reaching.

There's all kinds of ways to get creative with this one and at the end of the day you need to be confident in the home and smart with your investment. Not every buyer is comfortable with this, but it can totally make or break your offer ESPECIALLY when there are other offers where people have blindly waived doing an inspection altogether because they are so desperate to get a house (which I DO NOT recommend)!

I hope you enjoyed reading these tips as much as I enjoyed writing them all out! I write offers for clients all the time and these all really do work and make all the difference sometimes. Reach out with any questions, concerns or explanations on any of these and I'm happy to chat!

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1 commentaire

Joshua Hauman
Joshua Hauman
09 sept. 2021

Some very valuable information in this post! I really like the appraisal gap approach. Thank you for sharing!

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