Ultimately, the motivating factor for the seller is money. They wouldn’t put the sign in the yard if they weren’t committed to liquidating their asset. The listing agent’s livelihood is commission-based, so money is their primary motivation as well; together, the seller and their listing agent will make decisions based on this motivation, selecting the buyer whose offer gives them the conviction that they’ll close the sale netting the most amount of money possible.
That’s why the first important step is to build a rapport with the listing agent. It’s all about building as much friendship, trust, and goodwill as possible in the short amount of time you have. Not only will you be trying to win them over, you’ll also be attempting to ask them some exploratory questions about the seller. Are they experiencing a death in the family? Are they going through a divorce? Are they anticipating a cross-country relocation? How quickly do they need to be out of the house?
These questions will be extremely helpful in Step two, which is consulting with your loan officer. Now that you have more information on the seller and are starting to envision the type of offer you’ll write with your buyer, you can ask the loan officer about the buyer’s loan program. How will it affect your ability to write an offer that accommodates the seller?
For example, if yours is a first-time buyer who will require third-party down payment assistance, that’s a fairly slow, bureaucratic process; you won’t be able to offer the seller a fast closing. On the flip side, if your buyer has already been fully unwritten and approved and they don’t need down payment assistance, that’s a much different offer.
Ask your loan officer for a custom pre-approval letter that has the seller’s address on it. That’s further indication to the seller that this particular buyer is in love with their house. The seller will understand that this buyer hasn’t been in the market for months, making offers all over town to all sorts of varying properties—they’ve found a genuine match.
Once you’ve talked with the listing agent and your loan officer, it’s time to put pen to paper and craft a winning offer by playing with contingencies, the earnest money amount, and the closing date so that it’s appealing to the seller. Give your client the highest statistical likelihood of winning out by covering all of the bases the seller is looking for.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by phone or email. We’re always here to help.