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3 Ways to write a winning offer on a house

Jennifer De Vivo

Wow! The summer of 2015 was a hot seller’s market throughout the country. Buyers were putting in multiple offers on homes and willing to pay top dollar to outbid the competition. Under those conditions, there are winners and losers. In my opinion, no motivated, qualified homebuyer should miss out on getting the home of their dreams.

What can you do next time you find yourself going up against stiff competition on your favorite home? You can check out my tips in my quick how-to video below or simply keep on reading.

We all know the saying, “He who has the gold makes the rules.” Besides putting in a really high offer on a home to beat out the competition, you can use other strategies to make your offer more competitive — without spending more.

1. Do not ask the seller for closing costs.

What are closing costs, you ask? When you buy a home, just like when you buy a car, there are additional fees on top of the final sales price to cover items such as financing costs, taxes, insurance and so much more. Hopefully, you have saved up enough money to cover both your down payment and your closing costs. Many times, buyers will ask the seller to contribute and help pay for closing costs, which ultimately decreases the sellers bottom line. Also, when you ask for closing costs, and another buyer is not, you don’t look as financially strong. That can place your offer on the back burner.

2. Offer a larger deposit

When writing the offer, it costs you nothing to increase this line item. A deposit normally isn’t due until two or three days after you have a finalized contract, and the deposit gets credited back to you anyway. Instead of the standard deposit in your market, show the seller you are ready to put your money where your mouth is by offering to put down a much larger deposit than the next guy. Ask your Realtor what the deposit norm is in your state and proceed accordingly.

3. Shrink your inspection period

After you finalize your contract and send in your deposit, you will often be smack dab in the middle of your inspection period. Standard inspection periods vary throughout the country, but in Florida it is approximately 10 to 15 days. However, these are 10 to 15 days the seller has taken his home off the market and is losing out on other potential buyers and offers for their home. Show him you are motivated to close on your home quickly and that you are sensitive to their interests by cutting your inspection time down to three, five or seven days. This is a classic, seasoned-investor move you can add to your arsenal next time you find yourself in a competitive offer or bidding situation.

So, to summarize, if you want your offer to stand out from the crowd, avoid asking for closing costs. Then, pump up your deposit to impress the seller. Lastly, get your inspections done quickly to avoid holding up the seller. Follow these tips and your offer will be perceived as more competitive, stronger and savvier than the competition!

Let me know if any of these tips worked for you. I would love to hear from you as I am new to the SheKnows community and look forward to making connections here!

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