June 19, 2023

Home-Buying 101: How to Submit a Competitive Offer

Demand for housing is resilient despite mortgage rates reaching their highest point since 2002. So if you’re looking to buy a home, there’s more demand than homes for sale. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of competition when it comes time to make an offer on a great house.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make your offer more competitive and increase your chances of acceptance.

1. Avoid Contingencies and Requests From the Seller

Start by ridding your offer of as many contingencies as possible, making it much more appealing to your sellers. For example, if you don’t need to sell your current home before you close on your new home, make sure that your offer is clear about that. Likewise, an offer that doesn’t request closing cost assistance, personal property (like those stainless steel appliances in the kitchen), or other concessions will be considered more favorably.

2. Offer Above the Asking Price (and Consider an Escalation Clause)

This is where having the right real estate agent can make all the difference. Offering a fair market price for the home slightly above the asking price demonstrates to the seller that you respect their time and don’t want to waste it by going back and forth with negotiations.

Consider adding an escalation clause to your offer, which gives your agent permission to automatically increase your bid amount in predetermined increments (up to a certain amount) if you get into a bidding war.

3. Submit Your Pre-Qualification Letter

If you’ve already been pre-approved by a lender, submit a copy of your pre-qualification letter with your formal offer. This demonstrates to the seller that you’re serious about buying and that you’ve already met specific requirements set by your mortgage company. In addition, this increases the chances that your financing will go through smoothly, giving your seller more confidence and peace of mind.

4. Make an Emotional Appeal

Finally, always appreciate the power of a heartfelt letter written directly to the sellers. For example, you might explain to them what you love about the home and the neighborhood and how you see you and your family enjoying the house in the future. While this tactic isn’t foolproof, making a genuine emotional appeal generally can’t hurt—especially if you’re dealing with sellers who have a lot of attachment to the home themselves.

Where to start with writing a letter to the sellers? Your real estate agent may have experience with this and should be able to help.

The Bottom Line on Submitting an Offer in a Competitive Market

You must submit a solid initial offer in a competitive real estate market. The more your offer stands out from others, the more likely it will be accepted. By limiting contingencies and seller requests, offering above the asking price, providing proof of pre-approval, and even making an emotional plea to a seller, you can feel good about the offer you submit.

And when it comes time to start packing and preparing for your move, remember that having the right team of movers can make all the difference. So reach out to our team today to request a free moving quote!


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