Avoid too many contingencies
The best way to explain a contingency is an “if/then” statement- “Only IF these conditions are met, THEN I will go through with the purchase”. One of the most common contingencies found in buyer offers is an inspection contingency, which requires a thorough home inspection before any closing documents are to be signed.
Although this is not by any means a suggestion to avoid including contingencies altogether, it’s important to choose carefully. For example, the inspection contingency is one you will most likely be better off leaving in. Some sellers may be put off by an existing home contingency, which is when the buyer is trying to sell their own home and requires that they must be able to close the deal first, or else they will be released from the seller’s contract. An appraisal contingency is an example of one that may not be necessary if you’ve already had a home inspection, but it really is dependent on your eagerness to buy and the seller’s willingness to close the deal.
Find out what the seller’s plan is
There are many different reasons for why someone may be motivated to sell their home- never assume that you know exactly how the seller has planned to do this. That’s why you should be working with an experienced real estate agent: they can find answers from either the seller’s agent or the seller directly. For example, some sellers may want to get their homes off the market as quickly as possible, and others may need time to finalize relocation plans. Maybe the sellers are divorcing—which is almost always a “get-out-quick” situation. After this information has been obtained, you are much better prepared to submit an offer that appeals directly to the seller’s needs.
Speaking in general terms, buyers with the most bargaining power…
- Are able to make all-cash offers
- Are able to put at least 20% down
- Have secured pre-approval for a mortgage
- Do not have an existing home contingency