While there’s lots of things we can’t tell you — such as when you should leave home to avoid standing traffic on the freeway or how long that avocado will actually last in your fridge (because, you know, avocados gonna avocado) — we can provide some insight into one crucial pitfall many new homeowners wish they’d avoided before they experienced their first offer rejection during their homebuying process.
While this should come as no surprise, rejection doesn’t feel great, no matter what’s at stake. But, unfortunately, sometimes, it’s unavoidable. Other times, a little forethought can go a long way.
Today’s your lucky day 🔮
We’re going to arm you with some insider-ish information on what it takes to make a winning offer. You ready?
When it comes to making an offer on a property you really want, the warning is clear: Craft your offer like you won’t get another chance.
A common misconception many first time buyers have is assuming that the seller will regard their offer as an initial offer or starting point rather than the final offer.
In these cases, the buyers will submit their offers with the intention of negotiating further when the seller counters. But, in reality, buyers usually won’t get a second chance to increase their offer.
This is especially true if the property is in a highly competitive market where the number of days on market averages under a week or two and properties rarely sell below or even at asking.
In terms of negotiating, “if your offer is the only one on the table, or if the property has been on the market for a long time, this tactic that can be explored,” says Open Listings managing broker Mark Biggins.
Go in strong for your best chance of acceptance
When there are multiple offers, however, the seller usually accepts the best overall offer or issues counter offers to the top two or three offers.
If you save too much “gas in the tank” for possible counters, you run the risk that your initial offer is too low to even engage in negotiations with the seller.
It’s usually best to start with your best offer or very close to it right from the beginning to give yourself the best chance of success.
This is where comps are an invaluable tool for buyers.
Comps show what similar properties in the area have sold for recently and will give you a good idea of what the property you’re looking at might sell for — and thus, helping you price your offer competitively.
Additionally, if you’ve done your homework in advance and checked out comps for the property before submitting an offer, you’ll be in a much better position to defend your offer price if the seller does counter.
Looking to make an offer on a house, and trying to figure out how much to offer? Use Open Listings to create your offer online, get paired with a top-rated local buying agent who’ll help you submit your offer, and get back an average of $8,500+ when you buy with us.