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How to Get Your Home Offer Accepted in a Hot Market, aka How to be a Seller’s Beyoncé
While you might not be in the market for your $88 Million Bel Air Dream home like Beyoncé and Jay-Z (honestly, who wants to clean 30,000 square feet of space and 11 bathrooms anyway?!) here are some tips and tricks to think like Beyoncé and get the property you do want.
It’s a seller’s market, which means buyers have to think and act strategically to purchase. But thinking strategically doesn’t have to mean spending a million bucks to make the deal or even going over your budget. It just means to think differently and show the seller you’re on their side. So, if you really want that dream home, “…you should put a ring on it” with these tips.
Increase your earnest money deposit (EMD):
Because a seller’s market is so competitive, the number one thing a buyer can do to get an offer accepted is to be more competitive with your offer. Make that offer bootylicious! Go in there with a strategy that will make the seller sit up and notice you.
This doesn’t mean you should offer more than the asking price, but you can get creative and increase your earnest money deposit.
Earnest money deposits are your “skin in the game” as a buyer. You can increase your earnest money deposit to more than 2 or 3% (instead of the typical 1% to 2% most other buyers will be offering) to show you really want the property.
Include an escalation clause:
Another way to convince a seller to accept your offer is with an escalation clause. An escalation clause says if a competing offer is made on the property you’re hoping to purchase, your offer will automatically increase by a set amount, up to a maximum or ceiling amount, to outbid other offers.
In other words, you’re saying you want the house bad enough to not only raise your bid but you’ll also put the whole process on autopilot to do it. Do this, and you’ll tell the seller’s, “I dream it, I work hard. I grind ’til I own it, I twirl on them haters.”
Consider minimizing your contingencies:
This isn’t for the faint of heart, but removing requests for inspection, appraisal, or loan contingencies is one way to show the seller that you’re absolutely committed to purchasing this property. (Plus, if you’re going after properties like Beyoncé, you might not have time to inspect all 11 bathrooms and 30,000 square feet of property, right??).
Just be sure to not over-commit and potentially lose your EMD. (Alternately see the 3 options below that are along the same lines…but decidedly less risky).
Here’s the thing, when you show the seller that you want the property, are willing to put skin in the game to secure it, and that you’ll accept a certain amount of risk to make it happen, they’re more likely to sit up and pay attention to you and what you’re doing.
Alternative options to removing your contingencies:
Don’t remove the inspection altogether. A less risky option than outright removing the inspection contingency is simply shortening the inspection period or scheduling the inspection before the offer is accepted.
Don’t remove the loan contingency altogether. Instead, have your lender call the listing agent and vouch for the buyer’s finances. If you have a credible lender (and you always will if you go with Aragon Lending…hint), this tells them that while you’re willing to take on some risks and make some bold moves, you’re doing so with the backing of a lender that can actually put your money where your mouth is.
Provide appraisal gap coverage. Appraisal gap coverage shows sellers that you are serious and are willing to bring in cash to bridge the gap between the offered amount and the appraised amount. This addresses the seller’s concerns about a low appraisal blowing up a deal.
Accommodate the seller’s timeline
This might seem painfully simple, but one strategy is to simply meet the seller’s target closing date–if you can accommodate them, they are more open to your offer.
Another way to create leverage along these lines is to create a rent-back agreement, allowing the seller to stay in their home for just a little longer to help them get everything they need in order. Moving is stressful, and everyone knows deadlines are just suggestions–show them flexibility, and they might just show you a deal.
When all else fails, ask yourself, what would Beyoncé do? The home you’re after probably isn’t a renovated church in New Orleans or a Penthouse in New York, or maybe it is, no matter how big or small that home is, if it’s the one you want, go after it with a sense of style and strategy.
Tell the seller, “Lemme upgrade you,” by creating win-win situations where they get what they want, and you get what you want.
Tell your story in a letter or video
You don’t have to make a music video to get the seller’s attention — or maybe you should, if you can actually sing — but if you make a video or show the seller a little bit of who you are and what makes you the right person for this property, you’re going to stand out.
Appeal to the seller’s humanity with a heartfelt story about why you love this property and how you plan to treat it well and love it just as much as they did. The seller has memories in this place and have poured a lot of themselves (and their emotions) into this property. Show them you understand and that you want to pour your own love and emotions into making this property a part of your life as well.
Showing a little humanity may just be the nudge your offer needs in a tight decision. Especially if you tap into the emotions surrounding the property and the selling of it. Selling a house is a lot like selling a piece of their story and their life to you. Tap into that, respect it, and show them you want to do the same if you want to stand out in a crowd.
Remember: when in doubt, collaborate
Beyonce doesn’t always go alone (hello, Destiny’s Child?) and neither should you. The team at Aragon Lending is here to help you in whatever way we can, and your real estate agent will also guide you through this process (and if you don’t have a Jay to your Bey in that arena, we can give you some recos.) Just call us Lady Gaga, and get us on the telephone, ok, Queen B? We’ll show up.