Making an Offer
1. Be preapproved:
- About three or four months before home buyers shop for a home, they should review their credit reports to make sure they’re accurate and take short-term steps to improve their credit score.
- Buyers then should get a bank’s preapproval.
- While that won’t guarantee they’ll get the loan, it shows sellers that a lender has verified the buyer’s income and credit score to determine that she can afford payments on a mortgage for a certain amount.
2. Don’t lowball:
- Buyers may only get one chance to get the home they want in a competitive market.
- They may not get a second try to sweeten the deal later, so a lowball offer the first time around could cause them to lose out.
- Buyers should use sales prices of comparable properties in the neighborhood to submit their best offer the first time around.
3. Add earnest and due diligence money:
- The extra deposit can show sellers how serious the buyer is.
- Some buyers may even double the amount that the seller requests to show their commitment in purchasing the home.
4. Keep contingencies to a minimum:
- Sellers prefer no contingencies, but buyers want to protect their interests too.
- “Offset a financing contingency with preapproval and a strong earnest money deposit.