Over the 4th of July weekend, I had the pleasure of presenting 13 offers between two of my listings. While I have two happy sellers and four happy buyers, the outcome could have been different. Some buyers did not lose because their offer was too low. When the offers are similar in price, we start looking at the details. And it was the details that did them in.
On the first house, we had six viable offers. On one, the price was acceptable but was missing a pre-approval letter to support its validity. I had no letter and no way to contact the lender.
First, I understand. It’s easy for an agent to miss uploading a document when we are rushing to meet a deadline. We’re in this situation every day.
But when I gave the agent a courtesy text to please send it right away, he texted back, “I wish you had told me last night, I’m with family.”
- Ok, my apologies, but it’s not my job to see that he does his. Secondly, my family is entertaining themselves while I present your offer, SO…
Then, the agent requested the sellers “hold up on the decision” until he could get to it.
- What? No.
I’m here now with the sellers, reviewing several good offers they are willing to accept, why would they “hold up on a decision” and wait for one more? That is not a reasonable request.
Tip: The last thing every agent should do before submitting their buyer’s offer is to check that their offer package is complete.
Tip Bonus: The second thing is to have all those documents ready on their phone, so if you miss something, it’s a text away. There are a ton of apps made for that. Use one.
Later in the day, I was presenting multiple offers on another home. One of the agents, who knew I was presenting to the seller at that time, kept sending obnoxious texts during the presentation, like:
“Is my offer the top?”
“Buyer will up their offer if not”
“We don’t have to have keys at close”
“Buyers are not dead set on the home warranty”
The sellers were annoyed, and they had the right to be. I was too.
BUYERS – BEST OFFER MEANS BEST OFFER.
It’s not just price that wins bids, but also the best terms.
Every field you fill in on the purchase agreement is a decision—inclusions, exclusions, closing date, possession date, home warranty, etc. When you’re competing with other offers, you need to put the most favorable thing to the sellers in that blank. For example, you can buy your own home warranty. Don’t weigh the offer by requests that you’re willing to let go. Write the cleanest, best offer, first.
Your agent’s role – Your agent can’t advise you on how to write a 100% guaranteed winning offer. They don’t know what the other offers are or what terms will win the deal. There’s no crystal ball here. You have to write the most favorable terms to the seller that you are able.
- Money is almost always the most important thing, but it’s not the only thing.
- Don’t play. Write the most you’re willing to pay. If it’s over asking, writing an appraisal gap clause.
- Offer the occupancy time the sellers have requested unless you absolutely can’t. In which case, unless you’re willing to wait it out in temporary housing for a month or two, just write the closest to whatever they are asking, and be prepared to lose it.
- Don’t ask the seller to make or compensate you for repairs if they are manageable. Sometimes, buyers whose offer was not chosen will leave their offer as a backup just if you try to renegotiate after inspection. Be careful in this stage. If it’s structural or something major, you may not want to buy the house in any case, so you can certainly ask to negotiate those points.
Writing a winning offer is a team effort between the agent putting together a clean and complete offer package, and the buyer writing the most favorable price and terms.
- Incomplete offer packages are foul balls. They don’t count whatsoever.
- Writing your “Best Offer” means precisely that. Write the most you are willing to pay and the most favorable terms to the seller, initially, right out of the gate.
This market does not allow for second chances.