7 Ways to Get Your Home Offer Accepted in Colorado’s Competitive Sellers’ Market
Denver, CO
Lawrence Family Properties, LLC Denver, CO
Published on January 9, 2022

7 Ways to Get Your Home Offer Accepted in Colorado’s Competitive Sellers’ Market

How does a homebuyer get their offer accepted during the most competitive market Colorado, and the nation, has ever seen?

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In today’s crazy market, it is probably the most important question a homebuyer should be asking. As housing inventory continues to decline, real estate agents and their clients continue to go up against more buyers who are becoming desperate to purchase their dream home.

This type of extremely competitive market is becoming exhausting for many buyers. As they say, patience is a virtue, and is indeed a crucial part of the equation, but sometimes you can only be so patient. If being patient is the only thing your real estate agent is suggesting you do, then its time to re-evaluate who you are working with.

Below is a list of the top strategies for creating an attractive offer in a hot sellers’ market. If your current agent is not suggesting you incorporate any of these options into your offers your chances of purchasing a home have already taken a hit. Use these tips to put your offer at the top of a sellers list every time.

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Close on Their Terms

Every seller has different factors that are motivating them to sell. A seller may be under pressure to close on the sale of their property quickly. Others may need additional time to find a new property of their own. A property may be selling as an investment property, or it has been listed “as is.”

The first thing your agent should be doing before submitting an offer is simply calling the listing agent. They should be asking the listing agent precisely what the seller wants to see in an offer. With this information you can tailor your offer to have the most appealing terms for the seller. This simple outreach can have a huge impact on whether your offer is taken seriously.

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Be the First to See a Property and the First to Submit an Offer

If you’ve submitted offers on multiple properties and have had no luck getting one under contract, it may be time to consider a more aggressive approach to showing and making offers on properties. Some sellers would prefer not looking over tons of offers. If you can satisfy their goals right off the bat, they may decide they do not need to see any additional offers. So, if you can be the first buyer to view the home and the first to submit your highest and best offer immediately, you may entice the seller to accept your contract.

To be the first buyer, you’ll need an aggressive real estate agent who is scheduling showings within minutes of a home hitting the market. However, it is not only your agent who needs to be moving quickly. As a buyer, you will need to make sure you are going to be available at a moment’s notice. Once you see a new property that looks promising, you’ll need to stop everything and get it scheduled right away. Then, as soon as you have seen the property, you will need to decide whether to submit an offer. If the property satisfies your wants and needs have your agent submit the offer immediately.

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Obviously, this can be a stressful strategy, as you are having to make big decisions in a short timeframe. However, in the end, speed may be what gets you into the home of your dreams.

 

Make Sure Your Lender Offers Underwritten Pre-Approvals

Issues with the mortgage loan process are always at the top the list of things that cause deals to fall through. Find a lender that can provide you with an “underwritten pre-approval.” This is different from a pre-qualification or a a pre-approval. In this instance you’ll submit all your financial documents just like a preapproval, but the underwriter will look at everything before you ever make an offer on a house. They’ll perform the same due diligence on your documents as they would during underwriting the actual loan. This method lets the listing agent and seller know that you have been thoroughly vetted and stand the highest chance of closing.

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Offer More Earnest Money

Earnest money, also known as a good faith deposit, is offered with a sales contract to help the seller justify taking their house off the market. It’s a way of proving that the buyer “earnestly” wants to purchase the property beyond the contract alone.

One tactic that buyers can utilize is to offer more than the standard amount of earnest money requested. This strategy will show a buyer that you have serious intent to buy, pushing your offer above others that are less serious.

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Offer to Pay the Sellers Moving Expenses

It is most likely that you will be making an offer on a home that is occupied. Consider offering to help pay for all, or a portion, of the seller’s moving expenses. This is a unique strategy that is not utilized very often, which, in our opinion, makes it more effective.

As the offer prices rise above the listing price, it becomes more likely that the transaction will experience appraisal issues. By offering money to pay for moving expenses, the seller gains the financial benefits without increasing the home’s sales price. This tactic bypasses the effects an increased purchase price has on the appraisal and mortgage process, making it appealing to sellers and might give you the upper hand in a bidding war.

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Add an Appraisal Gap Clause

Thus far we have discussed options that should not require too much additional cash to strengthen your offer. However, as they say, money talks. Consequently, the appraisal gap clause has become one of the more common strategies used by home buyers to get their offer accepted in a competitive real estate market.

Here is an example: A home is listed at $400,000 and you offer $450,000, as you feel that is what it will take to beat the other buyers offers. As the transaction progresses the appraisal comes back at $425,000. This amount determines the maximum amount your lender is going to allow you borrow, as they will only approve the loan for the appraised value of the home. In this case the seller would need to drop the contract price back to $425,000 to close the deal, leaving an additional $25,000 on the table. In this situation the contract likely falls apart because the appraisal does not meet the offer price and the loan cannot be underwritten.

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However, as a buyer offering an appraisal gap, you state that you have the extra funds to fill in the gap between the appraised value of a property and the contract price. You are essentially agreeing to cover the difference between the appraisal and your offer. In this case you would be responsible for bringing an additional $25,000 in cash to the closing. The appraisal gap clause gives the seller extra assurance that they will be able close on the property at the price you offered.

If you’re a buyer considering offering an appraisal gap, make sure you carefully discuss this option with your agent and take the time to understand the potential ramifications. In the end you are essentially agreeing to pay more than fair market value for the property, and the difference will be paid for in cash.

 

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Offer and Escalation Clause

Finally, if none of the above options have produced results, this is one of the most aggressive tactics to assure you win in a bidding war. It must me noted that this option carries the most risk and uncertainty. Our firm typically only utilizes this option in the most extreme cases and only with a buyer who is working well within their financial limitations.

An escalation clause is a provision added to an offer stating that you will escalate your offer above the highest sales price submitted to the buyer. As a result, your offer price is automatically increased (escalated) without the need to resubmit a new contract or amend an existing one. This clause is usually submitted with a maximum escalation amount. When a bidding war takes place, this tactic keeps your offer at the top of the list.

Here is an example: You make an offer of $400,000 on a home that is listed at $390,000 with an escalation clause to $3,000 above the highest bid. The seller then proceeds to receive 10 offer contracts, and the highest bid from another buyer ends up being $425,0000. As a result, your original offer of $400,000 is automatically escalated to $428,000 to assure that your offer remains the highest.

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This method is one of the most aggressive tactics used to outbid the competition in a highly competitive market, but it can help assure you win in a bidding war.

This is another type of clause that you need to make sure you carefully discuss with your agent. Take the time to understand exactly what you will be responsible for should the seller sign your offer. You should only use an escalation clause when you can afford to escalate your offer well above your initial one.

 

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Summary

Competitive markets are always going to be stressful to navigate. You will likely have some of your offers rejected and it can be hard to watch as other buyers walk away with a home you saw yourself living in.

The above tactics range from mild to aggressive and we recommend you mix and match different variations of these strategies based on your circumstances. With this list we hope you will feel more empowered when you begin making offers on homes. In the end we feel it is most important to make sure you have a real estate agent that understands each one of these approaches and can help you utilize them effectively.

Our agents at Lawrence Family Properties, LLC have a full and complete understanding of each of these options and know how they should be applied in a competitive market such as Colorado. We are confident that while the housing market in Colorado can be intimidating, we will be by your side the entire time. Please reach out to our team with any questions you may have. We are here to help you find, and win, the home of your dreams.

 

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Lawrence Family Properties, LLC
Lawrence Family Properties, LLC Denver, CO
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