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Prepare and negotiate your offer

Step 7 - Prepare and negotiate your offer

If you find a suitable property and want to make an offer, you can enhance your chance of success by following these important tips:

Present your offer in a timely manner because the marketplace is competitive.
When preparing your offer, other buyers may also be preparing offers or scheduling appointments to view the same property you are interested in buying. So get your offer on the table as soon as possible and begin negotiating before another buyer beats you to the purchase!

Make sure your offer is in writing with all terms clearly indicated.
A properly written contract with a large earnest money deposit and a pre-qualification letter will usually increase your chance of success and take precedence over a verbal or low ball offer. Complete your offer in a neat and orderly way!

Do your homework and present a fair offer!
Be ready to back up your offering price with a logical discussion that won’t intimidate or offend the seller. Be careful about getting too technical over small issues. Know when to compromise and always use diplomacy when negotiating with a seller!

Maintain a positive rapport with the seller and the seller’s family.
The more the seller likes you, the better chance your offer will be accepted. Some sellers are emotional and may prefer one offer over another because of the personal connection that is made between a buyer and seller. Be sincere, use common sense!

Provide the seller with a phone number where you can be reached and ask the seller when he or she will be making a final decision. If more than one offer is being presented, submit your highest and best offer, especially if the property is important to you! Don’t lose a good property over a few thousand dollars.

Make your offer subject to your attorney’s approval. Ask your attorney for a copy of a standard real estate contract used in your jurisdiction and have a blank contract filled out in advance just in case you want to submit an offer. Have your attorney review your contract, or if time is of the essence, submit the contract directly to the seller “subject to” your attorney’s approval. A delay in your presentation could cost you your purchase. However, your attorney’s advice could save you a lot of time, money and aggravation. (Choose an efficient and helpful real estate attorney and determine their fee in advance). To locate an attorney, view our helpful pros directory.

Here are some additional negotiation tips. Download a sample Residential Purchase Contract.

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