If you’re in a competitive price range with a high chance of generating multiple offers on the listing you’re interested in, it’s a great idea to call, text, or email the listing agent ahead of time to find out if there are any offers on the property. After you’ve shown it, and if your client wants to make an offer, it’s also a good idea to reach out to the listing agent to let them know you’ll be presenting an offer—take that time to find out what the seller’s preferred closing date is and whether there are any other terms and conditions that the seller wants. The more you can give to the seller, especially in a competitive environment, the stronger your offer will be.
Next, sit down and strategically review your offer with your client. It’s important to discuss all the details, like what the due diligence time frame should be and how much due diligence money should be proffered. The more due diligence money, the better, and the shorter the due diligence period, the better. If you’re confident that the price is fine, you could even remove the appraisal clause and add an escalation clause.
One of the most important questions I always ask my clients is, “If you lose this house, how upset will you be?” If they’re going to be very upset, then the best thing that you can do as a buyer’s agent is to get the house for them. Crafting the perfect offer isn’t necessarily about building in every little piece of protection; it’s about winning the client the house they want.
That in mind, instead of asking the seller for a home warranty, just tell your client it would be your pleasure to buy it for them at closing. If you’re a new agent, try sitting down with your broker or an experienced agent to go over all the details and come up with a solid strategy.
I was recently involved in a situation where a seller wanted to sell their house as is. I recommended they do all the due diligence for the buyer and to make everything transparent. We did a home inspection, structural inspection, and had every single repair priced out so that all the information was available for the buyer. We received five offers, and the best was actually a cash offer; the buyer had completely removed the due diligence period. That told the seller that the buyers were purchasing the house unequivocally—it was a very well-thought-out strategy.
When you’re presenting your client’s offer, make sure you have all your documentation, as well. A listing agent doesn’t want to have to run around and continuously ask for details that should have been provided with the offer. Be sure you have:
- Your client’s pre-approval letter
- Copies of your checks
- A written letter to the seller explaining why your client wants to purchase the house and why they’re the best candidates to buy it. Some listing agents will accept those letters, and some won’t; if they will, tugging at the seller’s heartstrings is always worth a try.
Again, not only do you want your offer to be well-planned, but you also want it to be well-documented. You’re going to develop a relationship with that listing agent. This is important because even if your offer isn’t the one the seller accepts, forming a positive relationship with the listing agent might help you get in on another property they’re listing.
If you have any questions about structuring offers and communicating with listing agents, reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to help you. I’ve been in the business for going on 22 years now, and I love teaching people.