An Offer Isn’t Just About Price

Whether you’re a home buyer or seller, one of the most exciting, yet stressful parts of the entire real estate process is negotiating an offer. Many of us have spent a fretful few hours, or even a sleepless night, while an endless series of questions filled our minds: Will the price be appealing? Will the offer be accepted? Can we come to terms about conditions? Will the deal go through?

While price is most certainly a major – if not the major – factor in whether or not an offer gets accepted, there are still a number of other considerations that all play a part in the decision-making process. This is particularly true in cases where multiple bids are being considered. Offers aren’t just about the price and how savvy a buyer is when putting one together can make all the difference.

Of course, having the right real estate professional to negotiate on your behalf is another major factor that could mean a difference of thousands of dollars in your pocket, or even whether the offer is accepted at all. Here are a few points that may help to improve your negotiating position:

  • Choose a sales professional with a proven track record of success. You’ll benefit from the experience of a representative who has already negotiated the sale of similar homes in the same area. Find out before hiring your chosen agent what kind of experience they have in a multiple offer situation, What are there tactics if negotiations get squirrely
  • Be open, direct and completely frank with your sales representative. After all, they’re representing your best interests! To do it well, they’ll need to clearly understand your needs, your goals and your limitations.
  • Make your offer as free of conditions as possible. There are many conditions that can be eliminated with a little advance planning. For example, if you pre-qualify for a mortgage, you won’t have to include a condition that allows you time to set up financing. This can be a very strong subject especially in a multiple offer. Prior to writing an offer depending on the situation I’ll try and gather as much information from the listing agent as I can. Asking questions that will later come in as a benefit for my clients. Questions like what dates are your clients looking for? Have they found a place to go yet? The more information I can find out will better prepare us to right the most favorable offer before presenting and getting that offer accepted.
  • Keep the terms of your offer as close to the listing as possible. Remember, all things in an offer have value. The closing date or certain exclusions may have tremendous importance to the seller, but not to you. The closer your offer ‘mirrors’ the listing, the more appealing it will be. I like to lay out an action plan on what will be doing when being presented with an offer or multiple offers. I recently did a deal where we received 10 offers on the property, there was clear open communication with my (clients) sellers and worked for their absolute best interest we ended up with an offer almost $40,000 above list price.