real estate

5 ways to make your home offer stand out

5 ways to make an alluring offer
5 ways to make an alluring offer © Goodluz/

As home prices rise and the inventory of homes for sale shrinks, homebuyers realize they have to adapt to a market in which sellers call the shots.

Fall in love with a place that fits your budget, and get in line with other buyers bidding on the same home. That's how the story goes for buyers in competitive markets.

"Some sellers are acting like their house is a Louis Vuitton store and are sort of saying, 'If you can't afford it, don't walk into my house,'" says Patty Da Silva, owner of Green Realty Properties in Davie, Fla.

Unlike shoppers at a high-end store, homebuyers in hot markets may need more than just money to get what they want. They must give sellers enough reasons to pick their offer over offers from other bidders.

Here are five ways to make your home offer stand out.

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It's a seller's market right now, which means prospective homebuyers must compete with other buyers.

Make your home offer stand out by getting preapproved for a loan, or agree to an "as is" inspection contingency. The "as is" inspection contingency would let the buyer find out the condition of the property but would not hold the seller accountable for paying for any repairs. If the inspector finds issues with the property, the buyer can take the home as is or walk away.

Another way to stand out is to make your offer noncontingent on appraisal. That means if the house doesn't appraise for the purchase price, the buyer will pay for the difference in cash, since the lender will only finance based on the home's appraised value.

Finally, you can appeal to the sellers' emotions by writing a letter to them, stating how much you love their home. Chances are, the sellers love their home, too, and would rather see someone get it who'll take good care of it.



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