7 Tips to Help your Offer stand out from the crowd.
Here are 7 tips that will help your purchase offer stand out from the crowd.
1. Include a personal cover letter with your purchase offer
A good idea in this competitive housing market is to include a personal cover letter with the offer that introduces your family and explains why you are the right candidate to purchase the home. Include a family picture too.
If you can tug at the heart strings of the seller, they may be more inclined to choose your offer over others. Many agents and buyers tell me this strategy works!
2. Your loan approval letter verifies your type of financing
Include a loan approval letter with your offer that clearly explains what type of financing you are getting and how much of a down payment you are using, make sure it is also signed by the lender and lists their contact info too, so the seller can call and verify all the information.
If you are qualified for conventional financing and putting down 20%, make sure to write this into the loan approval letter, as this will usually place ahead of an offer with a lower down payment. If you are submitting a FHA or VA offer and are using a limited or no down payment, follow the rest of these steps below to strengthen your offer.
3. Include a DU underwriting approval with your offer
Include a DU underwriting approval with your offer. A DU (desktop) underwriting approval is when a buyer’s loan application and credit report has been ran through the conventional, FHA’s or VA’s automated underwriting systems and was approved.
A DU underwriting approval displays the most important information on a buyer’s profile, which gives the seller a better idea of the strength of the buyer. For example, a DU approval displays a buyer’s credit scores, debt to income ratios, assets, reserves, down payment and the type of loan program they are approved for.
4. Provide proof of down payment funds
Always include proof of down payment funds along with your offer. Make sure the name on the bank statements, or any other account being used for the down payment, matches the buyers name on the contract and approval, and also verify there are enough funds in the statements to cover the down payment listed on the offer.
If you are getting a gift from a family member, provide a gift letter and proof of funds from the donor.
5. Increase your deposit
Want to show a seller how serious your offer is? Consider putting down a bigger deposit in earnest money. This may seem risky for some, but earnest money is there for a reason. If you are uncertain about putting a “noticeable” amount of earnest money on the table, it may be a sign to the seller that you are uncertain about the house itself.
Assuming you hold up your end of the bargain and you have the right contingencies in place, it won’t cost you any more in the long run since the deposit goes towards your down payment if financing is involved.
6. Be flexible and don’t ask the seller for credits to cover closing costs
It's a good idea to ask the seller’s agent upfront what you can do to make the offer more enticing to the sellers.
For example, can you be flexible on the closing date for the seller? Also, a purchase offer asking for seller credits to pay for your closing costs will usually place behind an offer that does NOT ask for any seller credits. Some people assume just because a buyer does not have funds for closing costs, to just ask the seller to cover them.
SOLUTION: To make a buyers offer more competitive, the lender can pay for ALL the buyers closing costs with a lender credit.
How does this work? It’s easy, instead of taking say a 3.875% 30 year fixed rate, just take a slightly higher rate of 4.25% instead, and now there is a lender credit of roughly 2.5% available that can be used to pay ALL a buyers closing costs.
Not only is this a good negotiating tactic so the buyer and seller can strike a deal, but of course it saves a buyer money too. We present this option to all our buyers.
Another Tip, is to offer to pay for the sellers Owners title policy and transfer tax, these fees amount to roughly $2,500 on a $400k home, so this is another way to sweeten the deal for the seller to accept your offer. If the buyer does not have the funds, we can also pay for these fees with a lender credit.
7. Close the Transaction Faster
Being able to close a transaction faster is another way to entice the seller to accept your offer in this competitive market. For example, if a seller is reviewing 3 offers, and there is a 21 day offer, a 30 day and 45 day offer, many times the seller will take the faster closing.
My company Citywide Financial Corp can close a Conventional, FHA or VA Purchase Transaction in 21 days, and even 17 days if a major rush is needed. We have an outstanding team set up and dedicated to help close transactions fast.
I hope you found these tips useful. I review offers every week with Realtor partners, which is a great opportunity to look at the different types of offers that buyers are submitting in this current market. The majority of offers I review usually only have 2-3 of these items above provided.