Deposit: The Earnest Deposit is necessary to have a completed contract in Maryland. The amount is negotiable, but the higher the amount, the better the buyer looks to a seller. In a day when financing is tightening and more deals fall out due to a buyer not being able to get their loan, a higher deposit amount can signify to a seller that this is a buyer who is more likely to be qualified.
Financing: Related to the earnest deposit, your financing is something the seller is going to be very concerned about. When you present an offer, you must have a pre-qualification letter with it. Make sure your pre-qualification is with a strong local lender, whether you end up using them or not. This speaks well of your ability to perform on a contract to purchase. Stay away from internet lenders!
One Step Ahead – Pre-Approval
Along those lines, having an “approved” status with your lender goes a long way when your offer is being considered. Having the approval of your lender, not just a pre-approval letter, will signal to the seller that as a buyer, you are a safe bet. Many of our buyers are seeing the value in starting the process of loan approval early on in their home search, so that by the time they find a home and make an offer, they are further along in the loan process than a buyer who just has a pre-qualifying letter. In competitive markets, having this edge is helpful.
Closing Date: With so many homes sitting empty today, a closing date that is as soon as possible will probably receive a more favorable response from the seller. On the other hand, if the seller lives in the home and has to find his next home purchase, the opposite could be true. Knowing the sellers’ next intentions can be very helpful when time-lines are considered.
Contingencies: The more contingencies loaded into an offer, often the lower the chances of acceptance, especially a home-to-sell contingency. It’s almost always best to have your home under contract and present a house-to-settle contingency.
Motivation: Sellers have all kinds of motives for placing their home on the market. Although it would be a negligent listing agent that would spill the beans about their seller’s motives to everyone, a good buyer’s agent can get the meaningful information. If the seller has been on the market for 2 years, has burned out 3 agents, but has not lowered their price…chances are, they’re not very motivated. Along with motivation, you can often judge their willingness to negotiate.
Ability to Negotiate: All parties should be willing to negotiate and should come to the transaction with a certain level of open-mindedness. But sometimes we find that some people just aren’t very flexible about much. Then the buyer needs to decide how badly they want THAT house. People come in all types…some are of the inflexible type. When that’s the case, its best not to exhaust your energy and emotion on a fruitless endeavor.
Sometimes, the seller just doesn’t have room in their budget for much movement on the price. Sometimes, in that case, they will be more willing to move on other issues, like dates and inspection results. Again, an experienced buyers’ agent will help you in the negotiating.
Closing Cost Help
Sometimes, asking for help with the closing costs is possible, sometimes, when there is not much room in the price, the seller will not be able to help. In either case, some give and take on other issues, like time-frames, might be the key to a win-win.
There are many ways to negotiate a contract that gets both the seller and the buyer what they want most, and thereby make the transaction possible. Be sure to use an experienced buyer’s agent, remember, real estate agents negotiate regularly and often as part of their jobs.
Contact us to help you negotiate your Frederick Home purchase.
Chris & Karen Highland
eXp Realty – 301-301-5119