Faulkner: Tips for winning a multiple offer home in a hot market

Financial preparation, compelling price and even pulling on heartstrings are proven methods for making a case that beats the competition.

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You find a great home, submit an offer and discover that there are other competing offers on your new happy place.

What can you do to increase the odds that the sellers select your offer from all they have received?

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First, of course, is price. Determining how much you are willing to pay can be the trickiest part. The price determination will involve several factors, primarily what you can afford and what the lender will give you for a mortgage.

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Knowing the actual value of that home today is critical, too. Knowing the strength of the market for that type of home and whether the market is building strength or just sustaining is also very important.

If the market is hot and prices are accelerating, then it could be wise to offer more than what the numbers say is the actual value, as that is a moving target and could be several thousand dollars more next month.

Your realtor can advise you on the absorption rate (months of supply) for the type of home you are buying and can advise on a price offering that will increase your odds of having the winning bid.

After you have selected a price, we look at what conditions you will have in your offer. The most common are a financing condition and an inspection condition. Most of your competition will often have both.

A great way to position your offer above others is to get a letter from your lender that states that you qualify for the full price you are offering. When a seller sees documented proof that the buyer can qualify, it can be much more attractive, especially if they are counting on that sale closing to move forward with their new purchase or life plans.

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It is rarely wise not to have a professional inspection. There are some reasonable options, however. Some home inspection companies will offer a reduced walk-through inspection of one hour or less.

On a first or second showing, one could hire a home inspector to join you on a first or second showing to do a preliminary inspection of the major elements of the home. That is assuming that the seller allows for a longer showing. The home inspection is not as comprehensive and typically not as much money either.

If a buyer is comfortable risking paying for a reduced inspection before knowing if they have a successful offer, it can be a reasonable option and make your offer more attractive.

Writing a heartfelt letter to the seller can sometimes make the difference. And I say ham it up as much as you can. Express how you appreciate what the sellers have done with their home and talk about what you love about it. Share how your dreams can be realized in their home. And give specifics: are you caring for aging parents, are you raising your family, are you fostering abandoned puppies? I would really work that if I were you.

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When you send it, maybe consider a bribe, including a bottle of fine wine or champagne and a picture of those adorable abandoned puppies.

In addition to what you are doing, your realtor can do a lot as well. They should be asking questions of the seller’s representative as to what is important to the seller. They should find out if it is price or terms or certainty is most important. Are there any ways the buyer can make their life easier?

These could include the seller leaving stuff they don’t want to move, accepting title insurance in lieu of a Real Property Report, and excluding attached items the seller wants to take.

If the possession date is important and the buyer is flexible, one could consider leaving the date blank for the seller to choose. Of course, you want in-depth discussions with the seller’s representative about everything.

Should you find your dream home and be in a multiple-offer scenario, you may meet with success by using some of these strategies. I wish you all the best in moving from the life you have to the life you want.

Dennis Faulkner is a realtor with Maxwell Realty Challenge. Reach out with all your questions at [email protected].

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