Chris Griffith: What sets real estate buyers apart?

CHRIS GRIFFITH

What compels a seller to accept one offer over another besides dollars and cents? Putting aside the black and white aspect of a business decision based solely on numbers, image that you’re in a position where the offer you are placing on a home finds competition.

We’ve had a brisk buying spell and there is serious competition in certain neighborhoods and in entry level price housing. Multiple offers are not only possible but probable. If you’ve missed out on getting an offer accepted what could or should be done different to make sure your offer stands out?

For the sake of example, assume there are two offers that arrive for the same property. Both offers are on the same boiler plate contract, offering to pay full list price in cash, close at the seller’s convenience, with nearly the same dollar figure escrow deposit. What is the “tie breaker” in a situation like that?

The listing agent makes a call to both parties who placed the offers advising that there are multiple offers on the property and the seller is asking for proof of funds and everyone’s highest and best offer.

Neck and neck, the letters from each of the prospective purchaser’s financial institutions come in proving that the funds are on hand. Naturally, they arrive via e-mail with nothing but the name of the property address in the subject field of the e-mail.

Maybe the sellers should flip a coin to choose at this point. There is no compelling reason for them to pick either offer and there is certainly nothing remotely endearing that they know about the buyers.

Should you add an enlightening or even emotional aspect to an offer you place on a home? What I mean is, after you’re done searching high and low to find a home, do you just sign and offer and have it coldly faxed or e-mailed off to the listing agent or do you make sure the offer gets qualified to the seller?

Would it hurt to let the sellers know exactly why you love the home, why you chose it or what you appreciate the most about it? Could it be of interest to a seller to know that you love their home for the big backyard and that you plan to adopt a golden retriever just like theirs? Could it give a buyer an edge to have it known that they’re scrambling to buy a home because they’re six months pregnant, they’re newlyweds or that they’re retiring to be by their grand children?

The fact of the matter is that someone loses in a multiple offer situation. The Hewlett Packard printer that spits the contract out of the seller’s e-mail isn’t going to warm up that offer any more than how it got sent there.

On top of the actual purchase price, maybe the full investment should include about five minutes worth of time to toss in a cover letter and have the offer presented to the sellers with a shred of human interest, passion or even compassion. When all things are equal, it may actually be the deciding factor that sets it apart from being just another impersonal e-mailed offer from faceless buyers.

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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.

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