Buyers these days often find themselves competing for the same property, and formulating a great strategy is essential to be successful. That’s where I come in. While there are important things that buyers must do to be competitive, there are several things I do, as your buyer agent, to increase the chances of your offer being the winning one.
I Develop a Relationship with the Listing Agent
This process starts when making the initial appointment to see the home. I like to talk with the Listing Agent to find out about the status (i.e., are there other offers) as well as the amenities or to clarify things in the MLS listing. I also want to understand what the plan is for reviewing offers and making a decision (e.g., is there a deadline for receiving offers). I follow-up with a quick text or email to the to thank them for their help.
Once a decision is made to submit an offer I always contact the listing agent again to ask about the closing date that is important for the seller (i.e., it’s not always 30 days) as well as any other issues important to the seller so that we can craft the best offer, terms and conditions (E.g., will all appliances remain or not).
I believe it’s important to be proactive, and to demonstrate good communication from the beginning, especially when it’s an agent I do not know. And I want to know how best to contact them, and for them to know how to reach me. While the offer, terms and conditions are key, demonstrating you are a cooperative agent with good communication skills can be especially important.
I like to Stage the Offer
Making sure the offer looks good – appearance, not just the offer amount – is essential and makes a good first impression since some offers are very sloppy and incomplete. Just like with touring a home, you want the seller and agent to focus on the offer, terms and conditions and not get distracted by errors and missing information. Making a strong offer price-wise is important when you are competing since you don’t know if you are get a second chance. I need to protect my buyer client’s interests so that’s always a consideration when discussing contingencies to include in the offer, or to exclude.
I also always let an agent know when I am submitting an offer so they know to look for it. This often means calling, emailing and texting. I then ask they confirm receipt so I know it was received – technology sometimes fails us!
Lastly, as part of staging my offer I send a fairly detailed email introduction to the agent, outlining the details of the offer and the closing time frame. I also elaborate that there is flexibility, if that’s a key selling point and my buyer wants to emphasize this.I like to think of the offer and the submission process as curb appeal for the seller.
You MUST Show the Seller the Money
I always make sure an offer is accompanied by a complete and current pre-approval. I talk with the lender before the offer is submitted to make sure I understand buyer qualifications, and that things like salary, debts, and credit have been verified by the lender.
Providing a Proof of Funds (POF) to document my buyer has the money for the deposit, down-payment, and closing costs is important, especially when the down payment is substantial. And it’s essential for a cash offer in my opinion. Listing agents and sellers want to know that a buyer IS qualified to obtain a loan, and has the financials necessary to provide a down payment and pay all closing costs.
If we work together you can be sure I will do my best to make sure your offer is as strong as it can be, AND is presented in the best possible light to the seller and the Listing Agent. Part of that is up to you – the right offer amount, and being pre-approved!