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Accommodate the seller. As a buyer, you have to be flexible and willing to sacrifice a bit. Whether it’s being willing to close one month earlier or later, do your best to meet the seller’s desired closing time. Additionally, be willing to overlook the minor and any less–than–perfect characteristics of the home. Some buyers will not be able or willing to do so and this will put your offer in a better light. If the seller is motivated to sell, they’ll prefer to work with the buyer that can accommodate them the most, meaning sometimes price is not the only deciding factor.
Prepare. If you are willing to make the investment, then you must be a qualified, solid, desirable buyer. Get a copy of your credit report and settle any debts that may be outstanding. You’d be surprised how many people get turned down for a loan because of an old debt they had forgotten about. Get pre–approved for loans and mortgages. The seller wants and needs an ideal buyer, someone who is stable and ready to make a commitment to the property. Going into the negotiation process as a pre–approved buyer puts you at a major advantage.
Connect with the seller (if you can). Attempt to create rapport with the seller by writing a letter to submit with your offer and let them know why you prefer their home to others. Homeowners are emotionally connected to their home. Coming out and giving them a “laundry” list of what is wrong with the house, is the wrong approach. Even when selling their home, they often feel tied to the integrity of the home. This is especially true if they have lived there for a while. Because the seller loves the home, they are usually inclined to sell it to someone who they perceive will love it too.
Clean up your act. Eliminating as many contingencies as possible will give you an advantage when involved in a bidding war. If you have a home to sell before purchasing, sell it first. Reducing uncertainty makes the buyer more appealing to the seller and will create leverage for the buyer. Coming in with a low offer, lots of contingencies, asking for several inclusions (that pool table etc.) and putting down a low escrow, is a sure–fire way to loose the seller’s attention.
Show them the money. Be willing to increase the size of your escrow deposit. The best way to win a bidding war is to have your offer stand out from others and a higher escrow will do this. Sellers favor strong buyers.
Work with the best in the business. Be sure to choose a sales associate who has an excellent reputation with other agents. Working with a Coldwell Banker Bainbridge Kaufman Sales Associate who is known in the industry for their professionalism, credibility and honesty will always work in the buyer’s favor.