The economy is doing well. Unemployment rates are low. The real estate market is strong and steady. People are looking for homes to buy again. In a normal real estate market, this would be great news! But considering we are emerging from one of the biggest real estate market crashes in history, it makes for a tricky transition. There are more buyers on the market than usual, and there are fewer sellers than usual. Way less. So when a house hits the market, assuming it’s priced properly and not in a horrible location, it sells fast! There are a lot of things that home sellers take into consideration when selecting an offer, and price is only a small portion of that decision. Our clients ask us a lot about how to approach their real estate offer, and so we compiled a list of reasons your real estate offer may not be accepted.
Most people need money from their current home to buy a new one. You take your home’s equity, and put it towards your new home. However, the sale of you home will be a major factor on whether or not your purchase of this new home fails. As a seller, knowing that the offer you just accepted might fall apart later due to another party being involved makes it less appealing. If you are renting, or you have the ability to purchase a home before you sell – you don’t have a home sale contingency. That will help your offer tremendously. There are other contingencies too. If your down-payment money is in stocks or tied up in other investments, then you have contingencies. Sellers don’t always frown on this, and we sell homes all the time to contingent buyers. Just be prepared for that to lower the quality of your offer a little. You can make up for it in other areas if you really love the home. Our team of real estate agents will help you position yourself so that you are comfortable in the price, but also appealing to sellers.
Your Loan Type
If you are FHA (Federal Housing Administration) or VA, you are putting very little money down. For a buyer, this is great news – but for sellers, it can be a red flag. This is a major reason that real estate offers get rejected. The less money you have in the bank, the more likely you are to walk away from the purchase if anything comes up for repair. In addition, the house may not appraise for your loan amount, and that also causes problems with low down payment loans. If you write an offer for $349,000 and the home appraises for $345900, both FHA and VA loan types would be unable to proceed without the sellers dropping the price. The problem with that in this market is that there are other buyers who can probably step in and pay the difference. So they may elect to move forward if something happens or comes up in the home buying process. Knowing this type of thing can happen is what encourages most buyers to pick 20% down or higher buyers from the beginning. It prevents them from encountering issues later in the purchase.
It’s perfectly normal to ask sellers to clean the property up, pay their due bills, and leave the required items in the home. However, when you start to branch outside of those typical requests, your offer may not be accepted. If you are asking for a price reduction, and then also asking them to throw in their washer and dryer etc, you should make sure there are no other interested parties for that home. More often than not clients are offended that you would not only expect them to take a price drop, but also give away their appliances. It’s not impossible to negotiate these things, sometimes. Our agents will research the history of the property, time on the market, and other factors to help you determine your negotiation position. Take each item you are negotiating and decide how much that is really worth to you. Try not to let emotions get involved in the bottom-line. It might feel good to get something in negotiations, but today we see more buyers lose their deal completely over small things they later regret. Just remember the sellers don’t come with the house. After everything is said and done, you get a house and property. Keep the numbers and bottom line in clear view. Saving $10,000 on the home, but buying your own $1000 washer and dryer will equate to still saving $9000.
Sellers are usually ready and anxious to move on to their next adventure. The sooner you can close the better for them. The good news is that home appraisals haven’t been impeding this process as much in the past year as the years prior. It used to be that FHA and VA loans took a VERY long time to get their appraisals done. This mean pushing closing dates out, and setting buyers up for offer rejections. Today’s closings take between 35-40 days. If you end up competing against a cash buyer, beware. With no appraisal, they can close in as few as 15 days, assuming they have an inspection period. So make sure you have all of your loan docs ready. Be pre-approved and know what your lender expects from you before you write your offer. Sellers love to see an organized offer come in with a full pre-approval from a trusted local lender. Make sure your bank knows the closing date you write in your offer as well, to make sure they approve that time frame. If you do not include a pre-approval in this market, your offer may not be accepted.
When you see a listing, and they report that there are “multiple offers”, people always assume they are great offers. You’d be surprised how many people don’t understand the market and submit low offers or contingent offers. So talk your real estate agent about the situation. They can try to get a feel for the competition on the home and will help guide you. We see these every day, and have become very familiar with local market. If you love the home, you will want to make your offer as appealing as possible, otherwise your offer won’t be accepted. If you aren’t sure, and have hesitations – write it up however you feel comfortable and we will do our best to make sure you get proper consideration. Sometimes, having your offer rejected ends up being for the best. Other times, hindsight is 20/20 – and people regret not seeing the big picture when they had the chance.