Being a homebuyer in 2021 isn’t easy. You’ve gotta be quick on the draw and ready, willing, and able to make an offer the seller can’t refuse. Yet they often do refuse an otherwise incredible offer, because another buyer upped the ante just that much more!
There’s only so much money you can offer, and only so many contingencies you can waive. So, what’re you to do if you want to stand out from the crowd and get your offer noticed? How about just getting wacky?
While the chances of any of these ideas tipping the scales are pretty slim, they’ll at least give you a laugh. And who knows, if you do try one, maybe it’ll give the seller and their agent enough of a laugh to give you and your offer the nod!
1. This one’s a “chore” bet!
As important as how much your offer is, it’s equally important to read between the lines and sweeten your offer with what you’re offering. Take a look around the home when you’re viewing it prior to making an offer (if you even have a chance to see it in person). Take note of the areas where the owner could use help. Dishes piling up? Dog poop in the backyard? These items (and more) present a perfect opportunity to offer your first born child with your offer. Labor isn’t cheap, and if the current owners are upsizing, you’ve got a great opportunity to provide them with an indentured servant to help with present and future yard maintenance. No children of your own? Look for frustrated parents at local parks, stores, and restaurants. They may be willing to throw their kid into the deal for you…
2. Wave at the appraisal
In addition to offering above asking price for the home, waiving the appraisal contingency is becoming a common tactic by buyers hoping to secure a home. What many of these buyers fail to realize is that waiving the appraisal may not be as effective as waving at the appraisal. Appraisals are skittish at the best of times, and downright timid at the worst. By waving at the appraisal and communicating through non-verbal cues that you’re not a threat, you may earn its trust and ultimately the deal. You could take this a step further and offer the appraisal a saucer of milk, or a snack of celery and peanut butter, before retreating to a distance the appraisal would find comfortable and non-threatening.
3. Make sure your offer is truly “clean”!
In real estate terms, it’s always better if your offer is “clean”. For example, you don’t include home-sale or other major contingencies, you’re flexible on the closing date, etc. But, above all else, little to no stains of marinara sauce on the physical documents themselves. Don’t sign the offer while eating a bowl of spaghetti bolognese! Otherwise, before you know it, some of the meat sauce could easily end up on the contract. Were this document to be seen by the listing agent, it’s a toss up as to how they react. If they’re vegan or gluten free, you might lose out just because of your sauce choice. Don’t be a slob and give away excess information that could be used against you.
4. Escalate your escalation clause
If you want to ensure that your offer has a fighting chance, an escalation clause may be your best bet. Usually how this works is you’ll make your offer and the clause will say that you’re prepared to go “X” amount of dollars over the highest offer. What many buyers and agents don’t realize, though, is that the traditional use of escalation clauses has been lost over time. This can work perfectly to your advantage. Next time you make an offer, include verbiage stating that should your offer not be accepted, you’re fully prepared to escalate to violence. Be sure to consult with your agent before taking this route, because it’s often the agent who fights as a champion on their clients behalf. If your agent isn’t skilled in both an upright and floor style MMA, make sure they’re at least fighting in their own weight class.
5. Pay with Cash…
…Johnny Cash! As the saying goes “Cash is King” and this couldn’t be more true in the current market. But what if you don’t have a cash offer and need to finance? While it won’t work with all homeowners, some might jump at the opportunity to trade their homes for signed copies of Johnny Cash’s albums. The price of the collectibles market is rising faster than the housing market, and a savvy homeowner will see the value in transitioning to a more liquid asset like a vinyl copy of Rockabilly Blues.