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    Q: What Can You Do to Enhance Your Offer?

    Here are nine different ways to stand out as a homebuyer in this market.

    In this highly competitive market, there are several things that you can do to enhance your offer as a homebuyer. These are all things you can do without increasing the purchase price:

     1. Closing costs. Talk to your agent and loan officer about having your lender pay your closing costs.

     2. Earnest money. You can increase your earnest money strategically without increasing your risk. This will make the seller feel more comfortable and confident that you’ll be able to close on time.

     3. Deadlines. Talk to your agent about their team for home inspections, lending, etc., to make sure you can tighten your deadlines without compromising your ability to close on time.

     4. Write a letter to the seller. This humanizes the transaction and can give you an edge over your competition. If your agent is comfortable with it, you might consider submitting a short video explaining who you are, what you like about the property, and what your plans are.

    Many of these strategies can be combined.

     5. Agent ethos. Have your agent talk to the listing agent about why they feel they are competent enough to help you bring this transaction to closing. If your agent is newer, have them talk about the team they are on.

     6. Pay seller’s closing costs. This is something that will increase the costs, but not your purchase price. Sellers are worried about offers that are too high because an appraisal may not support it. This gives you an advantage over other buyers who are only pushing on price.

     7. Send a pre-approval letter. This does two things: It makes your offer more credible and allows you to meet tight deadlines.

     8. Add an escalation clause. This is a good way to automatically bring the negotiating price against the next most competitive offer.

     9. Eliminate contingencies. If you need to sell your current home before buying your next one, discuss with your agent how to work in this contingency. Should you make an offer before you list, or after you’ve sold?

    Many of these strategies can be combined to strengthen your offer without increasing the purchase price. If you want more details on these or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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