When you are a buyer in the midst of a real estate feeding frenzy, you often feel like you are never going to end up with the house you want. Maybe you have put in several offers on several different properties and missed the mark each time. In a market with low inventory and high demand, the sellers are in full control. So, how do you, as a seller, increase your chances of landing your dream home?
Here are a few ways to get your offer to the top of the list-
· Pay in Gold Bars - Ok, cash will do in a pinch. Waiving the financing contingency and paying cash will put you ahead of those who must get approved by a financial institute. You may also choose to make it clear that you will not exercise the financing contingency due to low appraisal as long as the property appraises at “$X.XX” (the buyer’s minimum number).
· Use an Escalation Clause- This is the triple dog dare of offers. One upping your competition’s best offer by a few hundred or thousands of dollars. Basically, you agree to pay $X.XX above the best offer. This is risky as you could end up spending way more than the property is worth. Make sure you speak with your agent beforehand and agree on a cap so you don’t end up overpaying. Also, if the escalation clause is triggered, the sellers generally are required to show the other offers to you.
· Waive the Inspection- This is a gutsy move, especially in New England with our abundance of 200+ year old homes. We never know what could be lurking behind all that horse hair plaster and knob and tube wiring. One suggestion would be to do an inspection for informational purposes only. You won’t be able to terminate the agreement due to issues found during the inspection but at least you would know what you are getting yourself into.
· Be Flexible- Being ready to close sooner or later than normal and being amenable to their schedule may entice the sellers. Put more money down or put a bigger good faith payment down to show you are ready to make this deal happen.
· Be Nice- Letting the sellers know why you want to live in their old house improves your chances of winning a bid. A personal letter stating why you want to move there, how important it is to you, letting them know you will take good care of it could mean all the difference. After all, they probably love the house too and are inclined to give it to someone they have more in common with.
None of these five ideas are guaranteed to get you the house of your dreams but they could go a long way in helping you stand out. Make sure you speak with your Realtor® and make sure you know the benefits AND risks of employing these tactics.