Do you really want to buy a Silicon Valley home, or do you just want to write offers to see what will happen?  Some folks, who appear to resemble serious home buyers, write offers that are riddled with reasons why the seller should reject their offer, or at the very least write a very tough, high counter offer in response.

What kinds of things in a purchase contract make a bad impression on home sellers in the San Jose area?  Here’s  a list of things buyers (or their agents) have done I’ve seen recently which turned the tone negative when it didn’t have to be:

  • On the good faith deposit check, don’t write the name of the title company.
  • On the memo section of the check, write something vague or possibly nasty, such as “deposit for budget property”.
  • On the contract, don’t write the seller’s name anywhere. Instead, write “Owner of Record”. Sounds like a bank owns it, but no matter what, it indicates that you don’t care who owns it.
  • On the contract, omit the listing agent’s info in the agency confirmation and offer signature pages.
  • Make a low offer, and if you are countered up in price, counter back to your original price.
  • If the seller indicates that your offer is being reviewed favorably and that the seller is probably going to take it, ask the listing agent “is there any room still to negotiate?” and promptly cancel and submit a new offer which is 10% lower.
  • Write offers on more than one property at once – even though you can only purchase one.  (That’s called “acting in bad faith”, even if it is a short sale.)
  • Ask the seller to pay for everything, even items which are normally paid for by the buyer.
  • If the MLS says that something is omitted or excluded from the sale, don’t mention it in your contract.
  • If the MLS provides information on disclosures, inspections and reports, don’t bother looking at them before you write and submit your offer.

I’ve seen all of these just in the last couple of months.  Buyers and their Realtors need to remember that buying and selling houses, condos and homes in Santa Clara County (and everywhere else) is emotional as well as a business decision.  Being rude, inattentive, uncaring and generally not following instructions is not a good negotiation strategy!

The offer is the courting period.  If you are not polite and professional then, what will you be like in escrow?  Your offer is your first impression. If you want to buy real estate, make it a strongly good impression!