kitchen and dining areaWhen you find the home of your dreams, the next logical step is to submit an offer to purchase. You write an earnest money deposit, sign the purchase contract and have your agent deliver the offer to the seller’s agent. Unfortunately, you find out the seller’s declined your offer and sold the home to someone else.

A lot of home buyers aren’t prepared for this setback, leaving them feeling confused or frustrated after their offer is rejected. The reasons a seller may reject an offer can vary, but a common reason is that the offer just didn’t stack up to other offers that came in around the same time frame. It’s not unheard of for a seller to receive two or three offers within the same day – sometimes within a few minutes of each other. While this scenario may be less common in a slow market, it can still happen with highly desirable properties and areas.

In order to increase your offer’s chance of being accepted, you should heed a few key pieces of advice. Take a look at these three tips to make your offer to purchase outshine the competition:

  1. Offer a substantial earnest money deposit. By submitting an earnest money deposit that is larger than average for the price of the property, you’re showing the sellers that you’re serious about closing. You will have these funds returned to you if the offer is not accepted, but could have to give them up if you simply change your mind and choose not to follow through with the purchase.
  2. Have proof of financing approval. Ask your lender for a preapproval letter (not to be confused with a prequalification letter). Being preapproved makes you a much stronger buyer and gives your offer more credibility.
  3. Don’t low-ball your offer. Negotiation takes time, paperwork, phone calls, headaches. To show that you’re serious about the home and you’re ready to make a deal, go ahead and make your best offer. If you’re really in love with the home and you know the sellers have gotten other offers (your real estate agent may be able to find out) you might even consider making your offer slightly above the listing price. Sometimes sellers will list their homes below comparable sales in order to generate multiple offers, so paying above the list price won’t necessarily mean you’re paying more than the home is worth. Your agent can advise further on this.

For more information on submitting a winning purchase offer, consult with an experienced buyer’s agent in your area.

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