Multiple offers are a part of the real estate market in 2016 – in fact over half of the offers The Peters Company buyer team wrote in 2015 were in multiple offer situations. Buyers look to us to know how to “win” in these circumstances. Of course, making an offer at a great price is key, but there are other terms that can work in your favor to help “win” in today’s market. Here are a few tips and tricks that will strengthen your offer without having to lay out more cash…
- Earnest Money – Earnest money is the money you put down when you go under contract on a home. It is refunded to you when you close. If you terminate the contract within the confines of your contingencies (due diligence, appraisal, etc), you get this money refunded to you. Typically, the amount of earnest money you put down is around 1% of the purchase price, but if you increase your earnest money – up to 3-5% then it shows the seller that you are a strong buyer willing to put more money on the line. Of course, in the end it stays your money, but it’s a great way to show that you are serious about the purchase.
- Close/Possession Date – Usually, the buyer chooses the close date in the transaction because they make the initial offer, but a great way to get the seller’s attention is to let THEM choose the close date. You can give a range of dates that work for you for the seller to choose from and then all parties will agree on the close date. Additionally, you can allow the seller to stay in the house past the closing date. Many times, sellers are purchasing another home and the extra time in their house after closing means much more than money. It gives them the chance for two smooth closings and an easier move. You can either ask them to pay for their time after closing in the house, OR to make your deal even sweeter let them stay for free!
- Lender Paid Closing Costs – Oftentimes, the “cleanest” offer is the one that is ultimately chosen. That means few stipulations, short deadlines and no seller paid closing costs. Not all buyers are in a position to pay their down payment AND all of their closing costs, but with the ultra low interest rates, it makes sense to look into lender paid closing costs. In this circumstance, the lender will increase the interest rate slightly and cover the buyer’s closing costs through their fees. This means a cleaner offer for you and a better chance of acceptance from the seller.
Of course, there are many other insider tricks that we can share with you to help make the best of your offer! Let the fabulous buyer team at The Peters Company help you “win” in this Metro Atlanta seller’s market!
Written by Jennie Moshure, Lead Buyer Specialist