5 Tips on a Winning Offer

The number of homes for sale in many areas of Southeast Wisconsin (and other parts of the state and country, too) are at crisis low levels. That tilts the table significantly in favor of Sellers, so here are my current Top 5 Tips (other than price) for writing a Winning Offer while still protecting yourself.

  1. No home sale contingency please – if you own a home and need to sell it before buying your new home, you’re at an extreme disadvantage. No seller wants to accept an offer with a home sale contingency unless there are no other offers on the table. And even if the Seller accepts an offer with a home sale contingency, be ready to get “bumped” if a non-contingent offer comes along. The potential solution is a Bridge Loan that allows you to extract some the equity from your current home to use as down payment on the new one. Call us at 262-781-1100 or visit our Bridge Loans page for more information.
  2. Bigger down payments look better to Sellers – You may only want to put 5% down (and we have some great loans that don’t even require PMI with 5% down), but if you could put 10% down or 20% down, write the offer with the bigger down payment. You can still apply for the loan with the smaller down payment, but the Seller will feel better about the bigger down payment.
  3. Give the Seller Accunet’s Guaranteed Rock-Solid Pre-approval Letter – make sure your Buyer’s Agent points out page 2 of your Rock-Solid Fully-Verified and Guaranteed Pre-approval letter form Accunet. It let’s the Seller know that if Accunet can’t actually approve your loan per the terms of the pre-approval letter, we’ll pay them $1,000 to say we’re sorry and made a mistake in addition to paying you $1,000. No other lender is doing this, and real estate agents are telling us it’s helping them position their buyers as the next best thing to a cash offer, regardless of the down payment. Get started on your Rock-Solid Pre-approval.
  4. The Right to Cure – in a Seller’s market like we have now, you’re probably going to have to give the Seller the Right to Cure Defects that may be found during the home inspection or testing. The problem is the standard Wisconsin offer to purchase language gives the Seller complete discretion on how any Defects will be cured as long as it’s done in a “good and workmanlike manner” at least 3 days prior to closing. That’s dangerous! If you need to give the Seller the Right to Cure, make sure your Buyer’s Agent inserts additional language in your Offer that gives you some say in how and when the cures will be completed.
  5. Get a Little Personal – it may seem corny, but a signed note with a picture of your family telling the Seller specifically what you like about the home how much you look forward to living there can sometimes make a difference. You wouldn’t do this if you’re submitting a low ball, potentially insulting offer, but if you’re competing with other buyers and making an offer at or above the asking price, this is a nice touch. Selling and buying homes is an emotional process. Don’t forget that.

Brian Wickert is a Licensed Wisconsin Real Estate Broker and owner of Accunet Realty Advisors LLC, and also President and Chief Honesty Officer (NMLS ID 259610) with Accunet Mortgage LLC.