How to write an enticing offer in a multiple offer situation, there are several ways to make your  offer stand out to a seller. Since you have to get financing, why would they choose your offer over a cash offer?

  • Offer a higher due diligence fee- this money is non-refundable if you back out, but credited back to you at closing if you purchase the property. Seller risk losing other buyers when they accept an offer, so you can sweeten the deal by offering them a due diligence fee that makes them feel confident you will close. I suggest offering at least 1% of the purchase price, if you are confident that you want the house and that your loan will be approved.
  • No asking for home warranties, closing costs, or any other concessions- make your offer as straight forward as possible.
  • If you are certain that you will get your loan, you could shorten the due diligence period from the typical 30 to 40 days- your risk would be losing your due diligence fee and earnest money if your loan is not approved.
  • Most importantly, offer over asking price, in the end money talks. However, be prepared that if the home does not appraise for the purchase price, you may need to bring the difference to closing. 
  • If the home is occupied, you could offer seller possession after closing. The advantage of this is that the seller can take their time moving out or if they need the cash to purchase another home, this buys them time. 14 days is the maximum for the NC Realtor form buyer/seller possession post/prior closing form. Another angle would be to offer them a lease back for a month or two, this could be a great benefit to the seller depending on their personal situation.
  • I don’t suggest writing a “love” letter to the seller. By “love” letter I mean a letter telling the seller who you are, how much you love the house and want it to be yours. Some agents think this is a good angle to get their client’s offer accepted, but I feel it puts the buyer in a very weak position during the negotiation process. The seller obviously knows you like the house, or you wouldn’t have made an offer. This type of letter could also set-up the seller and his/her agent for potential discrimination issues/law suits.

Having an experienced real estate professional help you in your purchase is always your best bet in writing a winner offer. The best part is that it usually costs home buyers nothing for the buyer agent's services.

Bonnie Gilbert, Broker/Realtor/BIC