The Art of the Close: Making an Offer on a House
So you’ve secured your financing, found the perfect real estate agent and settled on the home you’ve been looking for. The next step can feel foreign for a first-timer—offering and closing. So what should you do to close effectively?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Your real estate agent can help you navigate the psychological aspects of making an offer on a house, so it’s a good idea for both your household and your agent to be on the same page about your parameters—the limits you’ll set for what you’re willing and not willing to concede in a negotiation. Whether it’s a repair you’d like the seller to cover or the absolute most you’re willing to pay, these limits and ceilings are important to know going in.
One way to make yourself more attractive as a buyer is to put an earnest deposit down when placing an offer. This means that a portion of what will eventually be your downpayment is included with the offer to show your seriousness and validity as a buyer. This is a show of trust that can potentially tip the scales in your favor for an eager seller.
Be Flexible (When Possible)
Another way in which you can make your offer more attractive is offering some flexibility on move-in/move-out dates. Perhaps the seller would like more time to exit the property, or maybe they’re eager to unload a monthly house payment—show that you’re willing to be flexible if it means securing your dream home. (Of course, if you have your own considerations to make, such as the sale of your own home or a need to move in on a particular date, then this may not be possible.)
For a particularly popular property, be it one that’s been on the market for a short amount of time and has quickly gained interest or one that you’ve simply fallen in love with, personalizing your offer can give you an edge when nickel-and-diming doesn’t differentiate quite enough. Consider writing a personal note to the seller to talk about what purchasing this home would mean to you—even include compliments on things you particularly love about the house or the interior and exterior choices the homeowner has made. Flattery could win you some bonus points.
Ready to take this next big step in the homebuying journey? We have a tool for that—check out our Starter Kit to Buying a House.