How To Make An Offer The Seller Can’t Resist

Young couple at meeting making deal, signing contract to buy a home

When offers are close in price (they often are), factors other than price make a difference.

Don’t ignore the most important rule

The most important rule is, “make it easy for a seller to say yes.”

Sellers are people too. We take the time to ask about their needs, listen to their answers, and try to write an offer that helps them. 

If we make it easy for a seller to say yes, it is far more likely that they will.

Sellers have problems we can solve.

By checking the confidential remarks in the listing and calling the agent to ask about the seller’s plans, we often find valuable clues for how to write a much more acceptable offer.

It is not just about price. When we show them we care, sellers tend to respond in a personable way. 

Remove the seller’s pain point

We once made an offer to a seller who needed to quickly move back east. The home was a mess.

When we realized this was the seller’s pain point, we offered to take the home in any condition.

Our buyer won the deal. He had to make a dump run, but ended up with a garage full of gardening tools, a window AC and some patio furniture.  

By focusing on the seller’s needs, we created a better deal for everyone.

The step you can’t ignore   

Historic home sellers are proud of their homes. They usually prefer to sell their home to someone they trust to care for the home. 

We recommend you write a personal letter to the sellers to introduce yourself, talk about what you love about the home and your hopes. 

Simple as it is, a letter is one of the easiest things you can do to make yourself stand out to the seller.

How we present an offer to build the seller’s confidence   

It is critical the seller trusts you. Once we have your letter to the sellers, we add other things to your offer. 

  1. We always include a pre-approval from your lender, demonstrating you are qualified.
  2. We attach your proof of funds, demonstrating you have the money to close. 
  3. We ask the lender to personally call the listing agent to reaffirm that you are qualified and able to make the purchase.

How to get the seller’s agent on our side

Everyone loves a good story.

In addition to your personal letter to the sellers, we always reach out to the listing agent and tell them specifically why you want this home. 

The listing agent wants to feel confident in the buyer, and the seller will often ask for advice. 

Having a story about you helps the listing agent recommend you. 

Get the Road Map

We have created a Buyer Road Map Infographic to help you get a sense of the home-buying journey.

This step-by-step infographic takes you through the process of finding a home, financing, and making an offer.

Start with “Just Looking” and follow the roadmap to the seller accepting your offer.

Print out this infographic to see exactly what to do and when to do it at a single glance.

Action steps

Compare the homes you like. Download this simple organizer.

Be the first to know what’s happening in the market. Subscribe to Market Watch.

How much money do you need? Download this worksheet.

Understanding Your
Credit Score

Woman is worried about her credit score

Why your credit score may be higher than Credit Karma thinks

The way that a credit score is calculated for a home purchase is different than for consumer debt.

The score for a mortgage is probably higher.

When you spend money with a credit card, you are using unsecured debt. You’re usually buying things that a bank can’t take back, like dinner.

When you buy a home, the home itself becomes a high value asset that specifically relates to the debt. This is called secured debt.

As a result of this security, your credit score will usually be higher when you want to purchase a home.

What happens if your credit is too low? 

Depending on how much time you have, we have ways to clean up your credit score. If your home purchase is a few months away, we can usually improve your credit. 

Even if your credit has serious problems, we want you to have your dream home. We can help you get on the path to home ownership.

Don’t mess up your good credit by making this simple mistake

If you are planning to purchase a home, don’t open any new charge accounts or lines of credit. Don’t co-sign anything. Don’t buy a car or get a credit card from Target. 

Even seemingly small lines of credit can have big effects on your ability to qualify for a home loan. 

If they say “it is only a soft hit,” don’t believe them. Don’t let anyone access your credit at all.

If you still have questions about not opening new lines of credit, you need to talk to your lender and get specific instructions.

Action steps

Find out how much you can borrow. , Get pre-approved as soon as possible.

to understand your 3 biggest expenses, Download this simple worksheet.

How Much Can I
Afford To Buy?

The uncertainty around how much we

Many buyers think they need to save for a home, then are surprised to find they already have the resources to make the purchase. Below are some ideas to help you feel confident that you are ready. 

How much do I need for my down payment?

There is no precise formula for down payments. There are many variables, including the different requirements for different types of loans. 

To help you out, we created this simple worksheet to understand your three biggest expenses, including the down payment. You can search for a home with confidence once you’ve estimated how much money you will need up front.

If you’re close to having enough, it is best to start your search. You can save money while you search for a home, and as your deal is coming together. 

What funds can I use for my down payment? 

You can’t use someone else’s money for your down payment. Before the loan closes, you will have to prove the money is yours.

This money needs to be “seasoned,” meaning it has been in your bank account for a few months. There are rules about using money from the sale of stock, drawing funds from a retirement account, and many others.

Buyers often find these rules confusing and frustrating, but we’re here to help. Use this worksheet to find out how much of your assets are technically available for a down payment.

We are interested in helping you succeed. If you have questions about which funds can be used for a down payment, please reach out

How much can I afford to pay per month?

Before you think of how much to spend on a home, get pre-approved. This tells you how much you can borrow for a home purchase.  Once you have this number and you know how much you can pay up front, it is easy to estimate your monthly payment.

One of the biggest mistakes we see buyers making is waiting to pre-approve. We recommend you make pre-approval one of the first things you do.

Should I make a larger down payment? 

There are advantages to putting down more than the minimum.

When a down payment is less than 20%, mortgage insurance can add around $300 to your monthly payment. 

If you have the 20%, you will probably want to use it. A larger down payment will decrease your loan amount and probably your interest rate. 

Using a renovation loan

There are many types of loans. They all have their own rules. Some of these loans offer great opportunities for veterans, families with lower income, investors, small business owners and others. 

Historic homes often need repairs. Using a renovation loan, you can borrow the money for the repairs and the purchase with one loan. Most renovation loans only require a 3.5% down payment.

This is a way to purchase a property with a problem and create a solution that builds equity. Financing repairs will increase your down payment a little bit, but it is a great way to reduce the total amount you need for the home.

Many agents and sellers shy away from renovation lending because these deals often fail. If you need this type of loan we can guide you through the process. 

We have a team of lenders, contractors and consultants, and we have the experience to get your purchase done. 

Action Steps

Compare the homes you like. Download this simple organizer.

Identify the home you’re searching for. Use this worksheet.

While you find your target, Get pre-approved.

To get an idea of what’s available, Schedule a day to look at homes.