Want to buy it? Then get serious.

I had a request from Renee Burrows, earlier this week, to write a post on what Buyers and their REALTORS® can do to make their offers more appealing to my Sellers. As, primarily a listing Broker, I can assure you it's not always about the price. So what do I look for in an offer? What can a REALTOR® do to ensure that their Buyer's offer is taken seriously? A purchase offer, just like most things, is all about the presentation. If you want it to be taken seriously then present it seriously. So here are some tips:

  • It must be in writing. Now folks to me this is a big one. My standard response, to a verbal offer, is: "Is the offer so bad you won't even take the time to put it in writing? My Seller will NOT negotiate a verbal offer, it is a condition of my listing agreement." NEXT!
  • Send me the ENTIRE purchase offer with ALL addendums. Also, I need a copy of the escrow check and a LENDER letter. 
  • Make sure the offer is legible with NO blank spaces. If your handwriting is bad then type it. If I can't read it, I can't present it. I do not get paid to decipher offers.
  • After you have faxed or E-mailed the offer. Pick up the phone and make sure I received it. I had this happen last week. A REALTOR® called me on Friday to ask if I had a response on the offer she sent over on Wednesday. "Nope, never got it" She had faxed it to the wrong number.
  • Please, please, please put a cover letter with your offer. And please, please, please make sure your contact information can be read. It may be your only Buyer and your only offer but I can assure you it's not my only offer. I can't respond if I don't know where it came from.
  • Make sure the figures add up correctly and the dates for contingencies are correct i.e. A 100% financing deal with a pre-approval for 95% financing. Huh? A 21 day closing date with 30 days for mortgage approval. What? An inspection period longer than the closing period. Hello?

Now folks, this is pretty basic stuff but it happens ALL the time. These offers will rarely be accepted. If you don't take your offers serious neither will my Sellers.

OK, now lets assume you have the basics down. Here are some things you can show me, to really get me excited.

  • A letter from the Buyer telling my Sellers how much they love the house and how much they are looking forward to their new home. This is an excellent tool to give Sellers that have lived in their home for a long time. They want someone that will enjoy and take care of "their" home.
  • The Buyer's credit score. I will love you for this one. If they have great credit, then prove it to me. I won't even show the Sellers. But it sure does make me warm and fuzzy.
  • Proof of funds. Paying cash? Have a 20% down payment? Prove it to me. I'm going to ask anyway, so you might as well beat me to the punch. By the way, cash does not mean, "when we sell our house." Cash means AVAILABLE funds in the bank.

Oh, one more thing, communicate with me. Return your phone calls promptly. If it takes me three days to reach you, while we are negotiating, I will have zero motivation to want to do a 30-45 day transaction process with you. I will tell my Sellers this AND they will agree with me.

So there you go Renee, hope this helps. Any other suggestions from listing Brokers?

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