In a competitive market, it can be a challenge to stand out. Here are a few things to think about when it’s time to make a compelling offer:
1. Know thy seller
Price isn’t always the be all, end all when it comes to what the seller is looking for. Work with your broker to understand what matters to the seller. Perhaps they lost a loved one, and just want to know the sale will happen without incident. Maybe they’d feel better knowing they’ll have one more holiday in their house. Shaping your offer around what matters to the seller can help you stand out above the rest.
2. To inspect or not to inspect?
In an ideal world, every home would be inspected before a sale. Further, we would never recommend an inspection be waived. Yet, certain experienced buyers are willing to waive a Home Inspection in order to stand out in a very competitive market. Where does that leave the other 99% of the buyer pool? One strategy is a very healthy inspection allowance (1%-3% of the offer price, depending on certain factors) to put the seller at ease that they won’t be “nickeled and dimed”. This approach can get you “in the game” without risking it all.
3. Take note
Years ago, an occasional buyer would write a note to the seller – especially if it was a truly special property. And notes worked! However, this nice gesture of the past has since evolved into one of the oldest tricks in the book. Are notes still worthwhile? The short answer: it depends. If you’re feeling compelled to write a note, keep it short, sweet, sincere, and focused on one or two special characteristics of the property. Be sure to ask your broker to pass the note along, but to call the listing agent first to gauge how it would be accepted. By keeping it direct and streamlined, you can express your interest in a more subdued, yet effective way.
4. Respect matters
Something that most realtors won’t tell you? The person you choose to represent you matters. If the broker representing the seller has a number of equally compelling offers, the fact is: they’re going to lean towards the party they want to work with most. Take note of how your realtor acts – are they courteous and respectful to you and others? Courteous and respectful to the properties they take you to see? Aretha Franklin said it best!
5. Timing is everything
Statistically speaking, houses that have been on the market for a while have a more difficult time selling. If you’re feeling discouraged about being outbid, broaden your horizon to check out houses that have been on the market for a while. It may make it more likely that you can negotiate the offer price, but be sure your broker gives the sellers a heads up. Sending an offer that’s too low without explanation may offend the sellers and close the door.
The perfect home is out there for you. Our best advice? Don’t get frustrated – if things aren’t working out, shift your strategy.