How to Survive – and Win! – the Spring Southern Maryland Homebuying Season

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on April 9, 2018

It was heartbreaking to work with first-time Southern Maryland homebuyers on tight budgets during last spring’s overheated sellers’ market. There were so many offers paid … that were passed over for someone else’s.

One of the most frequently asked questions I got was: “Aside from increasing the amount of money we’re offering, what else can we do to win in a multiple-offer situation?”

As we move into the Spring 2018 season, buyers will no doubt be asking this same question, so today I want to share with you some tips that just might win you that home.

Write a personal letter to the seller

Some in the industry give writing a letter to the seller a bad rap, but I’ve found them to be quite effective. Your letter should connect with the seller emotionally. In it, explain why, specifically, you love the home and how living in it will affect your family.

Need ideas? Housingwire.com recently published some sample letters that might just do the trick.

Don’t nickel and dime the seller over small stuff

It’s tempting to want the seller to fix the little stuff that shows up on the home inspection report. If you truly love the home and the inspection report doesn’t show any problems, avoid that temptation and leave out requests that the seller make or pay for repairs.

The cleaner your offer, the more likely it will stand out among others. And, after price, the seller will look at other aspects of the contract that will cost him or her money down the line.

Increase your earnest money deposit

Aside from getting the most money possible for their home, what Southern Maryland sellers want most is to know that the sale will go through when they take their home off the market after getting an offer. One of the best ways to let the seller know you’re serious is to increase the amount of your earnest money deposit. This deposit, by the way, is a cash deposit and is typically a certain percentage of the offering price.

The deposit is held in escrow and applied toward the purchase price at closing. It can be forfeited if you breach the contract.

An increase in good faith money shows an increase in good faith – and sellers love that.

Agree to be flexible with your closing date

You might not believe it, but buyers have won a bidding war against higher offers just be being flexible on the closing date. Many sellers want more time to move out, so offering to close on their preferred date or rent the home back to them may be a way to win in a multiple-offer situation.

If the house is vacant, offer to close quicker if you can. Of course, you’ll need to be in touch with your lender to determine how quickly you can close, but a fast closing could be attractive to a seller who is carrying the costs inherent in a vacant home.

If all else fails …

If you’ve ever been in a situation where there are multiple offers, you know that the seller may find another offer to purchase more attractive than yours. If the house is the home of your dreams, consider making a backup offer that will put you next in line if the chosen buyer backs out of their purchase.

When accepted by the seller, the backup offer is a binding contract, so make sure your lending is in order before you submit the offer.

It sounds like a long shot, but back-up offers frequently become primary offers. They’re worth considering when the home is exactly what you want.

Still have questions? Reach out to me – I love talking about Southern Maryland real estate!

White Plains MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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