This is a sponsored column written by Kevin J. Wood, a licensed Realtor© in the District of Columbia and surrounding area. For more information on buying or selling a property, feel free to contact Kevin at 202-297-9753 or email him.
Given the competitive real estate market and possibility of a multiple-offer situation, buyers are encouraged to consider all their options in preparing and presenting the strongest offer possible. Naturally, every real estate transaction is unique but there are five general ways you can put your best foot forward. Of course, your Slate Properties Buyer’s Agent will walk you through these strategies and discuss the pros and cons:
1. Loan Approval: Having your financing as secure as possible is one of the most important strategies. If you have been approved for the loan and simply waiting for title logistics, there is much less risk involved for the seller. Our market experiences a significant number of cash transactions and this is one way you are able to stay in the game.
2. Flexible Settlement Terms: If you are able to be flexible with the settlement date, this might be an advantageous term for the seller — especially if they are in the process of finding their new home. Some buyers offer a “rent-back” to the seller to accommodate their personal situation. Although the contract allows the buyer to select the settlement company, sometimes the seller has a strong preference and it might be worth inquiring.
3. Closing Costs: As with most things in real estate — closing costs are negotiable. Are you willing to pay some or all of the closing costs that the seller is responsible for? You would want to agree upon a “capped” amount so you are not stuck paying more than you anticipated.
4. Minimize Contingencies: After sale price, sellers will find an offer with limited contingencies the most attractive. Common contingencies include: home Inspection, appraisal and financing.
5. Escalation Clause: This tool is used when buyers are very serious about a property and want to prevent being out-bid from the beginning. The escalation clause states that your sale price will increase a certain amount above other offers not to exceed a certain point. The important consideration is that you are comfortable moving forward if the contract price escalates to your maximum.
Take a deep breath and good luck with your offer!