How to Write and Offer that a Seller would Accept

Posted by Evelyn Ashley Grimes on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at 2:44pm.

As a long time experienced Broker, Listing and Selling Homes, dealing with the general public and reviewing my Agents contracts for compliance;  examples of how NOT to write an offer are all to clear. I found agents who felt they were representing their buyers, yet failed them both in obtaining what they wanted — an accepted contract.

The first thing NOT to do is list numerous items in the special stipulations section, specifying unreasonable requests. Examples include resurfacing the driveway, replacing the gutters, adding new carpet in the color and choice of the buyer, repainting all interior rooms a color selection made by the buyer, fixing leaks in two specific ceilings. I am sure you see where this is going.

Other “Deal Killers” can be lack of knowledge on what is included in a sale and what is not. Knowing what to put on a Personal Property Bill of Sale is critical. Items such as furniture, electronics and items not attached to the house would go on a Bill of Sale. Some “Deal Killers” examples would be putting items on a Bill of Sale to include lightning fixtures, air units, water units and Solar Systems, to name a few, and items that are attached to the home. A seller and their agent would be overly concerned of whom they are dealing with if they receive crazy items on a Bill of Sale that clearly transfer with the home.

Many agents will write offers including stipulations that are without merit, and by this I mean a licensed inspector has not viewed the home ( of course this happens AFTER the home is under contract ) Such items would be to repair ceilings because the agents saw a stain or replace an HVAC unit because it sounded like it had problems. The stipulations are assumptions. Not a great way to win friends and influence people at the forefront of negotiations! Plus, these repairs are deducted from the sellers potential net proceeds when the offer is presented. This lowers the offer’s total net proceeds to the seller. Sellers generally have no interest in negotiating with this type of buyer or their agent.

Representation requires tact as well as the proper timing to allow the experts to come in and make those inspections and recommendations of what needs to be done regarding lender required repairs and as for cosmetic repairs, well you can ask the seller and probably kill your deal.

Part of an agent’s job is to give good advice to buyer clients about what’s realistic, especially when a buyer’s offers are being rejected, one after another, because the buyer thinks the seller should provide a brand new home. Please don’t miss this point. To represent our clients fully, we must not forget how to negotiate. Unless you are buying from a new homebuilder, the home is by definition a resale home, not new construction, so do not expect perfection.

Approaching obvious repairs with a more welcome and tactful way, such as to suggest a reasonable price on a possible repair (cosmetic or structural), will take a buyer much further with a seller and their listing agent than to issue a list of stipulations that call for replacing “all and everything” in an offer. Win friends and influence people; don’t alienate the seller and listing agent before you can even bang out terms on a sales price.

It is critical to remember to write your offer as if you were standing in the Seller's and the Listing Agent's shoes. Be objective and critique your offer before submitting to the Seller and ask yourself if a reasonable person would consider the offer. It is that simple.

Stay abreast for updates on this subject matter. There are more "DO NOT's" to come...


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