This is what real estate is all about: Making offers and getting them accepted.
Everything truly boils down to this one specific moment. And, in today’s world with ten-page contracts, pre-approval letters, credit scores, cover letters, and so on; this has gotten overly complicated. It’s time to get back to basics.
Making the perfect offer is an art form, and it’s important to consider all the moving parts before discussing numbers:
- Who needs who more, the buyer or the seller?
- Is the house overpriced, or, are the sellers just patient?
- Did the sellers price the house low to invite a bidding war?
- Will there be multiple offers?
- How long or complicated is the process from acceptance to close?
- Is this the seller's home, or just some house they’re selling?
- The same goes for you: Is this going to be YOUR home, or just some house you’re BUYING?
Here’s the reality: Most buyers feel they are paying too much, and most sellers feel they’re settling for too little.
Especially in today’s market where houses in Northeast L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley have been selling in less than two weeks, sellers won’t entertain the low-ball offers because they know other offers are out there. Even when the multiple offers aren’t there anymore, they still believe they are.
Consider this... even if they do settle for a low offer, good luck getting any cooperation out of them. Real estate transactions are like weddings: big or small, there is always a crisis. In some cases, you might have to deal with this person for the next couple of months. Having your offer accepted is only the beginning, so negotiate carefully.
Let’s face it: Most of the houses in NELA and SGV are old, and old houses can have issues (inspections, appraisals, structural considerations, etc.). When this sort of thing becomes an issue during your purchase, you want a seller who is pleased to do business with you and will be cooperative and accommodating. Put them in between a rock and a hard place, and you’ll see the exact opposite.
What about when the seller has the upper hand? You are just one of many buyers who has submitted an offer. Why should they pick you?
If you're buying the home the sellers grew up in, you should appeal to their emotions. Give them confidence in you as a buyer who can close on time as promised. That doesn't mean you don't cover your behind with inspections and so on, just don’t make too many waves if you can help it.
Are you really, truly willing to do what it takes to get the house? That may involve paying over asking price and not hiding behind certain "safety nets" in the contract. How high and how far can you really afford to go?
Not sure? Ask yourself this important question: Can you handle seeing someone else move into your DREAM HOME??
Want to get your offer accepted under any circumstance? Be the obvious choice.
The Exception to the Rule
There are always exceptions to the rule. The best example is the "unmotivated seller". They were never serious about selling. You can spot these sellers by the minimal amount of effort they’ve gone through to get the house on the market.
Have you ever been to an open house or seen a listing where the seller has barely cleaned the place? It's staged poorly, awful pictures, and way over-priced. This is the classic “Let’s see what happens attitude.” And, even if you do hit their magic number, they still might not accept the offer.
At the core of the real estate business, there are only two simple things to remember:
- Sellers are looking for buyers.
- Buyers are looking for houses.
But, this only works when the following is true: “Both, the buyers and sellers are serious and have the proper motivation.” If either side is lacking, there is no deal.