THREE TIPS FOR HOME BUYERS IN
LAKE MARY, LONGWOOD AND SANFORD FLORIDA
A “Buyers Market” doesn’t mean that buying a home will be easy. It simply means there are more homes on the market than buyers. The most desirable homes will still sell and can still receive multiple offers. Use these three tips from New Southern Properties to help your offer stand apart……
1. Be A Buyer. Come in with your offer with either proof that you have the funds in the case of cash offers or a letter from your lender that you have been pre-qualified for a mortgage – regardless of whether or not the listing asks for such documentation. Nothing is more irritating to a Seller than to have an offer go to contract and then fall out due to financing – especially when the Buyer had no real chance to qualify in the first place.
Keep in mind when a Seller accepts an offer, the property is effectively off the market and unavailable to any other Buyer. Price is the first thing most Sellers will check – but the likelihood that the deal will close – i.e. that the Buyer can get the financing or has the cash is running a close second.
It is not unusual for a Seller to take an offer which is actually lower in price, but “better quality” – that is a Buyer who can show they can get the deal done.
2. Low-Balling and Bad Mouthing. While these may seem to be two different annoyances – they generally go hand in hand. Generally, most Sellers think their home is worth more than an objective market study will indicate. That is because they have a sentimental and subjective viewpoint. That loose doorknob, stuck sliding door or scuffed trim is something they see as just part of their house, each with a story behind it. A Buyer sees may see it as simply deferred maintenance and perhaps an indication that other problems may exist.
Most low-ball offers are looked at with distain and the Buyer simply as a “bottom-feeder”. You need to be able to justify a low offer and you need to be able to do it without bad mouthing their house, property or neighborhood. Sellers have an emotional attachment and as such, the majority of low ball offers never even receive a counter especially when the offer is accompanied with either no reason or reasons that amount to being derogatory towards the property. Be proactive and use facts and present them objectively and in a manner which keeps the Sellers from getting defensive. For example, “We realize this offer is lower than you might have expected, but here are some of the reasons for it…..” would be a good way to acknowledge the low offer but begin to put forth sound reasons for the offer so that it doesn’t appear to be the typical “low ball”.
3. Unjustified Last Minute Changes. Few things are more infuriating to a Seller than a Buyer who keeps asking for changes in the terms of the contract – be it price or repairs or closing date – well after the deal has been inked by both parties. Some people like to do this to keep “the other side off balance”. This is more common in the commercial world and to some degree expected. But in the residential world, it is much more personal and does not go over well.
Sellers have to make plans based on a variety of things in the sale contract such as moving plans, pay-offs and new closing dates if they are buying another home. Buyers who simply who request changes without any real justification risk losing the Sellers’ good faith cooperation when the Buyer really does need an accommodation of some sort.
Of course, if you have a bona fide issue, by all means bring it up and try to negotiate a change in the terms as no contract can foresee all of the potential issues. But, not unlike having objective reasons for a lower price offer, have good and sound reasons for wanting to make a change. The Sellers’ first reaction is generally going to be negative to such requests – so bring them up timely and always have them accompanied with the reasons why. Most Sellers’ will react reasonably as long as they feel that you are acting in good faith.
Michael Maier is a real estate broker at New Southern Properties. He can be reached at 321.262.6162.