You've been browsing Mansfield and Ashland homes for sale for quite some time now and have finally found something perfect for you and your family's needs. You're ready to take the plunge and put in an offer on the house. But how long should you wait ?There's really no conventional answer to that question. But in a seller's market, when inventory is low and demand is high, you may have to go above and beyond to make sure you submit an early offer and that it stands out from the competition. Here's what you should know about making early offers along with strategies for making a winning one.
Potential Problems with Early Offers
Making an offer isn't as simple as knocking on the door and informing the seller you'll take the house. Your intentions trigger the start of an intricate process between you and the seller. Don't expect the seller to accept your offer just because it came in first. Sellers usually think they've priced their home too low when an offer comes in fast. So, they want the house to have the longest exposure possible on the open market and get bids from a large number of buyers. An early offer would need to be mighty attractive for the seller to accept it instead of waiting too long for better offers.
Common Practices for Early Offers
Here are some common moves made by buyers when putting in early offers:
- Offering the List Price
Offering the list price helps show that a buyer is serious and committed. But when a seller gets an offer on or before the open house, they might wonder if a better offer could come in after other buyers have toured the home. Also, they might wonder if the asking price is too low, making them hesitant about accepting the offer. Offering the list price is a way to get inside the seller's head. You might miss out on a deal if you offer lower than the asking price.
- Believing in the Superiority of All-Cash Offers
You might be tempted to make an all-cash offer in exchange for contingencies. Maybe the seller will accept a cash offer with a sales contingency, meaning you must sell your current home before you close on the new one. A cash offer means no bank appraisals or lender requirements, but contingencies may negate the attractiveness of your offer to a seller. Many sellers realize it's all basically cash at closing, so they may not jump at the offer just because it's all-cash.
- Setting a Deadline for Acceptance
Ideally, you hope the seller will accept the offer immediately, but they may want to see if a better offer will come in. You have the option of setting an expiration date to your offer. If the seller doesn't get back to you by the set deadline, the offer will expire, and you'll be free to bid on another house. This is meant to induce action, but the seller could resent the pressure or make a counteroffer, which would reset the acceptance deadline.
How to Make an Early Offer Appealing
Aside from offering the list price, there are other ways to make an early offer more attractive:
- Put down a higher-than-normal earnest money deposit
- Waive some contingencies
- Offer to absorb some of the seller's closing cost fees
- Assess what the seller wants and use those details to sway the decision in your favor
- Write a heartfelt letter to the seller about why you want to buy the home
- Shorten inspection periods
- Offer to close quickly
- Submit an error-free offer, backing it with substantial documentation, such as a preapproval letter or proof of funds
- Hire an assertive real estate agent
When the seller receives your remarkable and generous offer, you can bet it will weigh heavily on their mind. So, if you like a house, don't wait. Take a leap of faith and make an offer.
Our REALTORS® understand how competitive the market is and have expertise in how to negotiate. Contact us to learn more about the steps we can take to help you navigate the home buying process.