SOLD! How to Make an Offer that will be Accepted

There is no crystal ball, however there are a few pointers that may give you an edge, especially in the multiple offer situations we’ve seen recently. While it is fairly natural, as Buyers, most of us focus on what we want to offer, rather than considering what the Seller is trying to accomplish by Selling. A Seller is far more likely to be amenable to the Buyer’s price, if the offer includes the as many items (as the Buyer is able to offer) that fit into the Seller’s plans.

There are 3 areas to consider beyond the price:

The Viability

Is your being pre-approved, rather than only pre-qualified, your having obtained and read any and all disclosures and reports on the property prior to the offer and acknowledged the same. Your demonstration that you have made yourself familiar with the customs or conditions of the area that you are buying in. Have you put a bit of good will into your offer somewhere?

The Terms

Are your terms reasonable? Such as obtaining a loan and or inspecting the property. Or, do you have to wait for your mother in law to Fly out from the east in order for you to buy the property? Some Buyers, or even their agents, think that a "good offer" always has a short close of escrow. While that is generally true for many reasons, what about having your agent ask the question before you write the offer. Always have your agent ask the Seller’s Agent what the Seller needs. I have a friend and real estate associate who always calls and asks " What can we write to make this your Seller’s dream offer?"

The Timing

Can you hustle??? If you really want to be competitive, it’s hard to have a life during the contingency time period. You need to schedule, meet, review and remove your contingencies as quickly as is reasonably possible (and sometimes it feels even quicker). The first thing I do is call my Buyer’s lender to see how fast they can schedule the appraiser so we can have the shortest possible loan contingency time period.

Over the years, I’ve had sales contingent upon the "pool table staying." Twenty years ago, I sold a lovely home in Portola Valley, for a woman who was moving to a San Francisco Town Home. One of the conditions of the sale was that Henny Penny, (the pet rooster) be allowed to stay with the property.

What happens when for one reason or another you can’t find out the owner’s requirements? Recently when that happened, my Buyer was a renter with a lot of flexibility in her moving date. We wrote that we could close in as few as 20 days or as long as 75 days at the seller’s option with 10 days notice (and we prevailed in a multiple offer situation because of it). Don’t be afraid to offer the Seller options.

All of the above said, as a Buyer, you do need to get what you need from the purchase. I’m not suggesting you skip any inspection, or act against your comfort level. We all have intuitive or gut feelings that need to be trusted. However, within those parameters, by thinking and acting in a creative way, the transaction you end up with may be even better than you had hoped.