This year I have seen lots of multiple offers, both when working with buyers and also working with sellers here in Silicon Valley. It’s not rocket science to write a strong offer and to get the terms and the “personal stuff” right. But so many real estate agents don’t get it. Unfortunately, when that’s the case, they seriously hurt their clients’ odds of success. So let’s talk about it.
The basics for writing strong real estate offers in the San Jose – Silicon Valley area:
- Agents need to READ the MLS carefully as sometimes there are offer instructions, such as “call listing agent before writing deposit receipt”. That means that the buyers’ agent should email, phone, or otherwise make contact with the listing agent before writing an offer. Why? It doesn’t matter, do it! But usually there are a lot of good reasons, such as making sure that the buyers know ahead of time if there’s a need for a rent back, that their agent knows about online disclosures, or any other condition. This is missed probably 10% of the time. Remember, drafting and presenting the offer are part of the courtship – if it goes badly, the escrow will be worse, so it’s crucial to make a good first impression.
- If there are online disclosures, reports and inspections, GET THEM. The listing agent can tell if you pulled them or not. Write an offer without even looking at them and the listing agent may think your agent is unprofessional or a flake. That may halt the deal right there. (Bonus points: the BEST agents will have their buyers sign all disclosures and submit them with the offer, at least if it’s multiples.)
- Don’t submit your offer too early or too late. Listing agents do not want to see offers long before the deadline, because the response time may expire before the contract can even be presented to the seller. Likewise, if the deadline is 10am Friday, don’t send it at 2pm Friday – you will be a pain in the rump and it will seem that you will “be difficult” in escrow. Submit your offer within 12 hours prior to the deadline.
- Don’t be a secret. If you like the property, make sure that the listing agent knows who you and your agent are. If there are 20 offers, it will help if you stand out as people. Often when I have a listing which gets multiple offers, there will be some agent who comes out of nowhere with an offer – he or she never called or emailed, did not leave a card, did not appear to show the property, did not pull disclosures but wow – out of nowhere they submit an offer. I got one like that today! It is so not good!
- Have a complete offer package! Include the agency, offer, copy of check, proof of funds and any other documentation. Letters are nice. Offer summaries from your agent are nice too. Make sure that your agent and you look “easy to work with”.
Those are things your Santa Clara County buyers’ agent should do. But what about you as a home buyer? Here are some a related articles with more food for thought:
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(all data current as of 7/23/2017)
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