Having been in the real estate business since 1995, it never gets any easier to relate to a client that the offer we submitted on “THE” house they wanted to purchase wasn’t the one that the seller has accepted. BUMMER!
One of the hardest lessons for today’s buyers to understand is that writing an offer doesn’t always mean that your offer will be accepted; or that the seller will even make you a counter-offer. The current inventory affecting housing in the Pine Belt requires a different strategy in order to give you the best chance to get the home you want. Following are some “tips” that you can implement to increase your chances of ending up in first place and then being the offer with whom the seller accepts to negotiate.

Make your best offer initially; or you may not get a chance to accept a counter offer. Or, if you absolutely have to have the house and know you have competition in the offering process, and will pay whatever it takes; tell the seller that you’ll pay “x” number of dollars more than the highest offer they have received. It takes a lot of guts and will cost you more money, but you may end up with the home you have to have! You might also agree to pay cash and arrange financing after closing. Be prepared to disclose to the seller where you have the cash.
Find out if closing quickly is of interest to the seller and then agree to close quickly.
If you are going to finance the purchase like most buyers, always submit your offer with a letter of pre-approval.

Increase your earnest money deposit beyond what is normal and customary. Agree to use the seller’s agent’s title company for convenience and comfort. Earnest money can be refunded if the offer isn’t accepted.
Eliminate unnecessary contingencies, like having to sell your existing home to close on the one you want to buy. Pay all normal and customary closing costs, and don’t ask for personal property that’s not included in the listing.

Shorten the inspection period. Let the seller know you can act FAST. Buy the home “as is” subject to inspections which still allows you to get your earnest money back if the inspections are unacceptable but doesn’t require the seller to make repairs.

Write the seller a hand-written, personal letter telling them why you want their home; include a picture of your family. This should be “warm and fuzzy” and pull at their heartstrings!
Remember! Making an offer on a home is much like applying for a job; you only have one chance to make a good FIRST impression!