9 Ways to Make Your Offer Stronger

It's a competitive market and when there are multiple offers, buyers need ways to make their offer stand out against the other offers. Below are 9 strategies sure to make your offer stronger. 

Strategy #1 – Get Pre-approved (vs. pre-qualified)
There is a difference.  Getting pre-approved means filling out a loan application and the lender has actually collected your documentation (tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs…) and has run you through an underwriting process.  This is a deeper analysis and is more reliable.  More work is required up front by both the buyer & the lender, but it’s worth the efforts.
Strategy #2 – Shorten the escrow period
Most escrows are written for 30 or 45 days (some banks require 60 days!).  But if you write your offer for 21, 14 or even 10 days, your offer will stand out against the other ones.  10 days is very aggressive and few lenders can manage this.  But the strategy here is we collect all the information needed for underwriting before the offer is made.  We underwrite the file (without the appraisal) and are able to determine if the buyer will qualify.  At this point, all we need is the appraisal and we should be able to close by day 10.  If something unforeseen occurs on day 9 of a 10 day escrow, we might need to ask for an extension.  The seller has the option to cancel the transaction or grant the extension.  Odds are they will grant the extension as opposed to starting over with a new buyer who will likely need 30 days.  This method should be used only with experienced lenders who can move quickly.
 Strategy #3 – Shorten loan contingency period [POWERFUL]
Most contracts have a 17 day loan contingency period.  Similar to strategy #2, we obtain all documents needed to underwrite the loan before the buyer makes an offer.  This way we can get a decision very early in the process.  Having a shorter contingency period is attractive to sellers.
Strategy #4 – Increase the deposit
Most buyers put down $1K - $3K.  If you make your deposit stronger, say $7K - $10K (don’t worry, we’ve never lost a deposit), your offer will be much stronger and show the seller you’re a serious buyer.

Strategy #5 – Increase the deposit AFTER removal of loan contingencies
Once you remove the loan contingencies (assuming your lender is confident they can close the deal) you can increase your deposit $3K, $4K or $5K.  This sends a message to the seller that you are a serious buyer.
Strategy #6 – Waive seller’s deposit
Some buyers want sellers to put down a deposit to ensure the seller leaves the home in good condition on their way out.  By eliminating the need for this, your offer could stand out from the rest.
Strategy #7 – Lender to contact listing agent [POWERFUL]
This is a very important and underutilized strategy.  If you ask most listing agents, they will tell you this is hardly, if ever, done.  I contact the listing agent on the property my buyers are making offers on to emphasize the strength of the buyer and us.  By illustrating the strengths the buyer and by demonstrating to the listing agent they have an experienced lender, it gives them some reassurance and this can be the difference maker between getting the deal or not.
Strategy #8 – Be reasonable & flexible
If you’re up against multiple offers, being reasonable & flexible can make all the difference.  For example, I’ve worked with buyers who offer under list price, ask for a 3% seller credit, ask the seller to pay all the Title fees… This might work on less than desirable homes, but if you want a good deal, you may have to demonstrate from flexibility. 
Strategy # 9 – Pest report outside the loan
The buyer can still get a pest inspection, but if the pest inspection is in the contract, the lender will want to see it and oftentimes the inspector puts a lot of minor issues in there that the lender is going to see and then want fixed. This will add time & energy to the process.  The buyer can still ask the seller to fix pest related issues and keep the lender out of it.

Give me a call for more details or to get start the loan process.  Supreme Lending is one of the nation's largest direct lenders. 

When looking at lenders, there is not a one-size fits all.  One transaction with me and you'll see why 95% of my business is referral & repeat customers.


Justin Lees
NMLS 110154
Branch Manager
Supreme Lending

The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Supreme Lending, and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Supreme Lending. In no way do I commit Supreme Lending to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Supreme Lending’s Human Resources Department.


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