If you’re thinking of buying a new home, here’s something you should know: The market is pretty good right now. Yes, mortgage rates may have inched up over the last year. However, there is still a shortage of homes available to buyers, and that means that you will likely be one of multiple buyers submitting an offer.
I know this because I’m a Broker that oversees a few hundred agents, and my wonderful wife is an agent as well. We’ve seen our fair share of “escalation clauses” in the last year.
While there are no guarantees your offer will win out, don’t break the bank because here are two easy things you can do to increase the chances that your offer is the one the seller selects—even if it isn’t the highest.
1. Don’t be a jerk.
Some people believe that being a jerk is an essential part of getting things done. That’s just not true.
You can be firm and stand your ground without being a jerk about it. In fact, being a jerk always makes things harder than they need to be.
In a real estate transaction, if you are hard to deal with simply for the sake of being hard to deal with—or treat the seller and his or her Realtor® poorly—the chances that your offer is the one that gets accepted go way down. Even with the increased use of technology in real estate, selling a home is still a very human process. If you’re a decent human being during that process, your odds of having your bid selected even when it isn’t the highest offer go way up.
So, be responsive, prompt, polite, and professional. It makes a difference.
2. Be a person, not a piece of paper.
If you’ve ever sold a home, there is a good chance you’ve driven by it years later, wondering what it looks like inside now that you’re gone. You might wonder if the new owners are marking their kids’ heights in pencil on the door jamb like your family did, or if they arrange the kitchen the same way during Thanksgiving.
There is also a good chance you still call it “our house,” even when it isn’t.
Houses are like that. They are more than just flooring and fixtures. They become a part of us long after we move out.
Sometimes, including a letter with your offer to describe your family or situation may help the seller understand who would be living in “their” home, even when it was not longer “their” home.
There is no guarantee that following this advice will mean a lower offer gets accepted. For some sellers, the price really is the only thing that matters. But for some sellers it isn’t. Some sellers want to know “their” home will be in good hands, even when that home belongs to someone else. Sharing information that helps the seller see you as the type of person or family they want living in their home will help your chances of getting a lower offer accepted.
If you plan on putting in an offer on a home soon, good luck. It’s competitive out there, and buying a home is always stressful—but it doesn’t have to be when you’re a decent human being.