In our hot seller’s market, homes are selling quickly and for above asking price. Buyers need every edge they can get, and thankfully, the strongest offer isn’t always the one with the highest price. Remember these seven tips when you’re writing your offer:
- Earnest deposit. Put down a strong earnest deposit to show in good faith that you truly want that house. If you’re an FHA buyer, you’re required to put down 3.5% so go ahead and make that sum your earnest money. If you’re a VA buyer with 100% financing, still put down a strong deposit because you’ll get it back at closing.
- Closing date. Consider what closing date is best for the seller. Have your real estate agent contact their listing agent to find out what date works best for them so your offer can accommodate their needs.
- Closing costs. Do not ask the seller to pay your closing costs unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you do need help here, consider bumping up the purchase price to cover the closing costs; that way, you’ll pay it off in your monthly payments later.
- Home warranty. Don’t ask for a home warranty; make it a clean offer. If you really want a home warranty, you can buy it yourself at closing. It costs $500 to $600, and it covers you for the first year.
- Personal property. Don’t ask the seller for personal property they’re not openly offering. Just because you see that awesome riding lawn mower in the garage doesn’t mean you should ask for it; again, keep your offer as clean as possible.
- Price. Right now, we have a ton of buyer activity, historically low interest rates, and extremely tight inventory. Really consider what price you’d feel comfortable paying for a given property and brace yourself to make an offer above asking price—it’s not uncommon for prices to be bumped up, especially during multiple-offer scenarios.
- Due diligence. Keep your due diligence period as short as possible. Typically, you have anywhere from seven to 14 days to have your home inspection completed; consider shortening that window to seven days because sellers don’t want to keep their home off of the market for very long. If you’re a seasoned buyer, consider writing in your offer, “Home sold as-is, contingent upon an acceptable home inspection.”
Hopefully, these tips empowered you as a homebuyer in today’s market. If you have further questions about this or any other real estate topic, please give us a call or send an email our way. We’re here and ready to assist you!