A usual day at the office involves a lot of phone calls, a lot of e-mails and a lot of questions. A LOT of questions. Sometimes I’m doing the asking, but often times, I’m attempting to provide the answers. Buyers and their agents often want to know about the best way to get an offer accepted, the intricacies of HUD financing, escrow policies, timetables and much more.

I thought I’d start using this space to discuss some of these issues. These matters aren’t unique to my office, either. They arise anywhere and everywhere property is sold. And in our hypercompetitive market, few if any questions come up more frequently than…

How do I get my offer accepted?

On the one hand, there are some common-sense basics that will accompany any strong offer:

-A complete, legible package contract.
-Any addendums attached to MLS.
-Proof of funds (if buying with cash) and/or the required prequalification noted in MLS
-A copy of the buyer’s earnest money deposit.
-A little background about the prospective buyer always helps, too, including employment history, FICO scores and whether or not the property is intended as the buyer’s primary residence.

On the other hand, there’s one crucial requirement that trumps all of those: Both the buyer and agent need to have seen the property.

I know how obvious that sounds. Still, buyers and agents often overlook this. Virtually every day, I receive offers over asking price, all cash… and sight unseen. Not even a drive-by! As stable as an offer might seem on paper, nothing raises a red flag for a potentially problematic transaction like buyers bidding high on a property they’ve never laid eyes on.

Seeing pictures on MLS or my Facebook page don’t count, either: How do you know if the location works for you if you don’t visit the property? How can you see kind of repairs or work it might need, or if the bedrooms are sizable enough, or if the backyard has enough room for your growing family or the garden you’ve always wanted? How can a seller know that a buyer is serious enough to follow a transaction through if he or she hasn’t even taken the time to drop by the home in person?

Inspecting a home inside and out should be the top priority for would-be investors and owner-occupants alike – a way to gather questions of one’s own and demonstrate a legitimate interest in a property. It’s the first and easiest advantage to claim in a market where every advantage counts. Along with the rest of the materials accompanying a strong offer, don’t forget to pay the place a visit!

Email me more questions or comment below to continue the conversation!

Filed under: Ask Warren