Main Content

Home » How to craft a winning offer

How to craft a winning offer

How to craft a winning offer
ask phyllis a real estate question

Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions. Email us here

Dear Phyllis,

I am beginning to believe I will never be able to buy a home. We have made over half a dozen offers, short sales, probate sales, and regular sales. Nothing works. Each time, we get beat out either by a cash buyer or someone who offers more money. Moreover, we have stable jobs, 20% down, and great credit. What do you think we can do to write a winning offer?


Dear GG,

It is often difficult to craft a winning offer. Therefore I will assume that you and your real estate agent are including the basics with your offer:

Personal letter to the home seller, introduce yourself, and compliment the seller
Preapproval Letter from a local lender with a good reputation
Verification of funds to close
Seven days or less investigative contingency

Yet, every now and again, a seller won’t accept the highest price. Although, the vast majority are looking at their bottom line and selecting the highest-priced offer. We are experiencing a very strong seller’s market. Sadly, most of the buyers you compete against are also extremely qualified. Many of them have larger down payments, can waive appraisal and loan contingencies, and compete with cash buyers. You can only compete with a stronger buyer by offering more money and/or waiving loan and appraisal contingencies.

There are a few other things you can do to entice the home seller:

If they have been in the home for years or have young children, offer them extra time in the home after escrow closing at no additional cost. In this instance, I have seen sellers accept thousands of dollars less because they can make a more leisurely move.

You can offer that they leave anything behind and that you will deal with it. Or you can offer to pay for a dumpster rental. Anything that will make their move easier.

Furthermore, a very important thing to remember is: No one wants to be in escrow with a nasty person. Be overly polite when you and your agent meet the seller or the seller’s agent. Your agent also needs to be nice to everyone in the agent’s office – even the receptionist. Usually, when the offers are so close together, your or your agent’s good manners or the personal letter is the tipping point.

Best of luck to you.

Related Posts: Top Ten Reasons Your Offer Won’t Be Accepted
LA Home Buyers Continue to be Disappointed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *