24 May, 2012


By Samia Cullen

In today’s seller’s market, it’s fairly common to have more than one offer on a property. Inventory is down, demand is high and buyers are scrambling to make offers on the few listings we do have.
Although the winner is usually the most qualified home buyer with the best price there are some other factors contributing to a winning bid.

Besides price, the probability of closing the deal is likely the most important factor. Start doing the necessary due diligence as soon as possible in order to be comfortable writing a strong offer to buy the house in “as is” condition” and without any contingencies. Necessary steps include: 

1) reading the disclosure package and making any additional inspections before the offer presentation date; 
2) scheduling the appraisal in order to shorten the time to close escrow; 
3) obtaining a pre-approval letter from a trusted lender; 
4) asking your REALTOR® to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) of the property including private sales. Make sure your agent mentions to the seller all the due diligence that you have done.  

Sellers also gain confidence that a deal will close if an offer includes strong financial terms, including a significant deposit and large loan down payment. Other terms that will strengthen an offer include non-price concessions, flexibility on the closing date, and volunteering to pay on the seller’s behalf some fees normally charged to the seller.  Remember to appeal to the home seller's emotional side, especially if they have lived in the house a long time.

Although the highest price normally wins, sellers prefer a firm offer that assures them that the transaction will close and that nothing will come back to haunt them later on. A local agent with an intimate knowledge of the local market and good track record can help in writing the winning offer and closing the deal.  

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