You’ve finally found your dream home, and it’s actually in your budget. However, with fierce competition, why not go all in and offer way above asking price? The seller will be in no position to refuse, right?
Well, while cash, and lots of it, is certainly king, there are other factors that play into a seller’s decision to accept an offer. In fact, sometimes there are things in your purchase contract that can outweigh even your supersized offer. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But often a successful sale goes beyond money. Here are a few scenarios in which your highest offer might not land you the keys to the front door.
You’re Not Flexible on the Timeline
First and foremost among possible deal breakers is timing. Sellers look at the terms to their specific situation. Maybe they need more than 30 days to move out, so if someone is pressuring them to move out sooner, that can sometimes be a turnoff if they haven’t found a new home to move into.
On the other hand, the sellers might have already vacated the property, and are eager to unload it pronto. That’s why customizing the length of the closing period to meet the sellers’ needs can be more important than the bottom line. Have your Real Estate Agent find out what they need, and let them know you can accommodate them.
You Don’t Have Your Paperwork Squared Away
Yes, we have preached about the importance of being pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your home search. Here is just one of many reasons why: You can blow up the deal if you haven’t been pre-approved.
If you don’t have the financing in place to make your initial down payment and closing costs, it doesn’t matter how many dollars you promise the sellers.
Buyers must have that in place as opposed to tying up a house when they’re not really qualified to do so. When you’re ready to put in an offer, make sure your pre-approval is within 30 days or less. If the sellers see that the pre-approval was done more than 60 days ago, that could make them wonder if you are still credit-worthy to get a loan.
Speaking of credit-worthiness, don’t make a large purchase (such as a car) during the escrow period, even if you can afford to. It might affect your ability to obtain financing and that will be another major red flag to the seller.
You’re Asking For Too Many Contingencies and Concessions
If you’re in a bidding war for your must-have home, you’ll want to go in not only with the highest offer but also with the cleanest one. You want the deal to be as sweet and competitive as possible. For example, a contingency stipulating that your home must sell before you purchase the seller’s house is usually a deal breaker. The seller may not consider your offer as favorable because you’re still shaky until your house actually sells.
Another potential turnoff: Negotiating for a large concession, like for the seller to pay all of the closing costs. Instead, ask for the bar minimum closing costs or none at all, and make sure the concession doesn’t dip into the seller’s price tag. So if the house is listed for $300,000 and you can go up to $310,000 with a $10,000 seller’s concession.
You’re Requesting Too Many Things Be Included with the Home
If you ask for the custom drapes, the Smeg appliances, and the Scandinavian hot tub to all be thrown in with the house, the sellers might wave you off. If the sellers had put in the listing that the chandelier wasn’t included, then don’t ask for it to be thrown in.
You might think you’re paying for all that stuff with your higher offer, but if you really want the house tread lightly here. You risk offending the sellers if it looks like you’re trying to squeeze as much out of them as possible.
You Haven’t Expressed Your Love For The House
You might not be the on;y one bidding high. When similar offers are on the table, sometimes the sellers look for other factors to break the tie. That other happy family who will live in the home forever versus the people who are gutting the entire home and flipping it.
So how can you sway sellers who love their home? Put some heart into your offer by giving them some idea of who you are and why you want their home.
It depends on who your target is. If your seller is an investor, they aren’t going to care if you include an emotional letter or a picture of your family, they just want money. However, if the seller raised their family there and want to sell it to another nice family, an emotional appeal might work.
You Gave Up After Your Offer Was Initially Refused
If, for whatever reason, the sellers reject your bid, hang in there. Contracts that come in way over asking price tend to have a high cancellation rate, perhaps because the buyers didn’t have pre-approval and their financing falls through. Ask your Realtor to talk to the seller’s Realtor and ask to be kept in the loop should the current accepted offer fall through.