Making a strong offer puts you in a good position to get the house you want with the price or terms that are most favorable to your situation. An offer can be simply divided into price and terms Terms include closing date, condition of the property, asking seller to pay some/all of the buyer closing costs, etc. Pick one or the other to maximize. Trying to make poth price and terms advantageous to yourself will likely offend the seller and make them less likely to negotiate*.
A strong offer has the following characteristics:
- Shows the buyer is serious about buying the property. The size of the binder deposit is a good indication of seriousness and shows you have some skin in the game. A seller takes a risk when they take their home off the market and a higher binder mitigates that risk.
- Shows the buyer is capable of buying the property. A pre-approval letter or proof of funds for a cash offer is essential. without it, offers may be rejected outright.
- Is balanced between asking for and giving concessions . A strong offer may propose a lower purchase price and balance it with concessions on terms such as a quick closing date, e.g. 10 days, and accepting the property “as is” without any warranty or repairs.Conversely, if the buyer needs help with closing costs and wants the property to be in perfect condition when they move in, they can still make a strong offer by giving the seller full asking price with some/all of closing costs added on top – assuming that the house is priced at or below market value.
Common sense and an attitude of compromise should rule the day regardless of whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market and ideally, there will be an incentive for both sides in every offer and counter offer.
One of experienced buyer agents will be glad to give you advice on this and any other aspect of the buying process.
* Expert negotiators such as Herb Cohen advise against negotiating for yourself because it’s extremely difficult to remain objective, even if you have excellent negotiating skills and experience.
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