Sellers with more than one offer will pick the “best” one, though “best” is an undefined term – in the case of an offer, it’s all in how the sellers view it.
Buyers hoping to win a bid should consider all the variables and plan accordingly. Some things to consider when talking to buyers:
- Earnest money. In general, the more money a buyer is willing to put on the line, the more appealing the offer will be to the seller.
- Verification. Can the buyer really afford the home? It helps if a buyer submits proof, and underwriting approval carries more weight than a simple letter from the lender.
- Courtesy. If a house isn’t empty during a showing, the seller may need extra time to move. A buyer willing to give the seller some wiggle room could gain an edge.
- Strength. Buyers should submit their highest offer first. If that offer fails, they’ll know they tried their best.
- Market value. Some sellers price their home low in order to attract multiple bids. If a buyer balks at offering a price that’s higher than the asking price, compare the offer to nearby home values. Even an over-the-asking-price offer could be a bargain for that neighborhood.
- No contingencies. Sometimes they’re necessary, but the fewer the better.
- Keep it simple. Little requests could irritate a seller, such asking for a home warranty or termite bond.
- Closing costs. Sellers with multiple offers often look at the bottom line – how much would I actually receive from each of these offers? In some cases, a request to pay extra closing costs could hurt.
- Actual concerns. What does the seller really want? To get out quickly? To get the most money? To know that the family home is going to someone who appreciates its emotional worth? Find out if you can.
- Prepare for the next step. Even the best offer could receive a counter offer. For many agents and sellers, it’s just good business. If a buyer submits the “best offer,” a counter-offer may come as a surprise if their agent hasn’t prepared them for it.
- Details count. If a seller responds to an offer, the timing is important. Responses should be quick, and any seller requests, even idiosyncratic, should be respected.
©2015 Florida Realtors® – Reprinted with permission ©Florida Realtors.