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How To Win Against Multiple Home Offers

Nov. 11, 2009 at 4:00 AM   |   Comments

Often times people find themselves in a multiple offer situation, whether it's the time of year, a very desirable home or an appealing listing price. How can you increase your chances of winning against competing home buyers?

Although the winner is usually the most qualified home buyer with the best price and the fewest strings attached, there are some other secrets to winning the bid. Not all buyers are interested in more than just price, and that makes knowing what to offer in this type of situation critical.

9 Tips to Winning A Multiple Offer Home Bid

HIGHEST OFFER

The winning buyer in a multiple offer presentation is often the one who makes the highest offer, pure and simple. Learn as much as possible about local market values. Look at comparable properties. Ask your REALTOR® to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) of the property that will tell you recent selling prices of comparable properties. When market values are rising, there may be a bit of guesswork involved in pricing. You may need to pay more than yesterday's comparable sales in order to be the successful bidder.

CLEAN OFFER

A clean offer means that it has few contingencies, which means certain conditions that must be satisfied in order for the sale to go through. Typical home purchase contract contingencies include financing, inspections and the sale of another home. Put yourself ahead of the crowd by limiting as many conditions as possible before presenting your offer, however, do not forego important - and expensive - things that need to be fixed, e.g. a cracked foundation or leaking roof.

REQUEST A PRE-INSPECTION

Home buyers who know they have competition will often have properties inspected before an offer is made. Ask your REALTOR® to find out if other buyers are having pre-sale inspections done. If so, you may want to ask the sellers for permission to complete a home inspection, and any other inspections you believe necessary. This will enable you to make an offer that doesn't include an inspection contingency.

APPROVAL LETTER UP FRONT FROM YOUR LENDER

Although you may not be able to get completely approved for financing on a new home before you make an offer, you can get preapproved for a loan. If you find a place to buy before you are preapproved, submit a loan application to a lender or mortgage broker and have your credit checked before writing an offer. The loan agent can then write a letter stating that the loan application was submitted and the credit is acceptable. This way the home sellers know the home sale will be more likely to go through without financing issues.

MONEY DOWN

If you can put 10 to 20 percent down, the sellers will be more impressed with that amount than a five percent down payment. You may be able to change your financing terms later but what matters is the money is at the table at closing.

EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT

Putting as much of your down payment into your earnest money deposit makes a very strong impression when you write the offer. The "earnest money" is part of your down payment which you simply put down a month earlier. This lets the seller know of your intentions because if the seller accepts your offer and you break the contract, you would lose your earnest money deposit.

TRUST YOUR REALTOR

Your real estate agent has the ability and knowledge to influence and impact your decisions throughout the offer process and presenting the offer itself. Trust your Realtor's advice and guidance. They do this for a living and are working for your benefit.

COPIES OF REPORTS

Again, find out all you can about the property before writing an offer. Get copies of any existing reports and seller disclosures. If they seem adequate, let the sellers know that you have read and approved the reports.

PERSONAL APPEAL

Find out as much as you can about the home sellers and their situation. Attempt to meet the sellers face to face to let them know how much you love their home. Or write a letter about why you would love to live in the house. Some sellers are influenced by emotional appeal, particularly if they're looking at multiple, similar offers. Find out when the seller wants to close, and offer post-occupancy agreements in case the sellers need to stay while they find a new place to live. These steps will help you stand out from the rest.

These are a few ways to try to win a multiple bidding situation on a home. Trust your Realtor to help you beat out the competition and remember to appeal to the home seller's emotional side, especially if they have lived in the house a long time. It can't hurt to try! If you don't win the first time, you'll most likely be able to find another home you love. With any luck, next time perhaps you can avoid a bidding war.

© 2009 HomeGain.com, Inc. www.homegain.com

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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