Ask Phyllis!

Posted by on May 1st, 2014 and filed under Between Friends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


Questions About Today’s Real Estate?



Ask Phyllis!


How To Craft A Winning Offer




Dear Phyllis,


  I am beginning to believe I will never be able to buy a home.  We have made more than half a dozen offers, short sales, foreclosures, regular sales.  Nothing works.  Each time, we get beat out either by a cash buyer or someone who offers more money.     We have stable jobs, 20% down and great credit. What do you think we can do to write a winning offer?  

Phyllis HARB 2012 WEB

Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with Prudential California Realty.
She may be contacted at (818) 790-7325 or by email
Please visit





Dear GG,

   I would imagine that you and your agent are including the

basics with your offer:


• Personal letter to home seller, introduce yourself and compliment the seller

• Preapproval Letter from local lender with a good reputation

• Verification of funds to close

• 7 day or less investigative contingency


Every now and again a seller won’t accept the highest price, but the vast majority are looking at their bottom line and selecting the highest priced offer.


   We are experiencing a very strong seller’s market.   Sadly most of the buyers you are competing against are also extremely qualified.  Many of them have larger down payments and are in a position to waive appraisal and loan contingencies and compete with cash buyers.  The only way you can compete with a stronger buyer is by offering more money and/or waiving loan and appraisal contingencies.



There are a few other things you can do to entice the home seller:


   If they have been in the home for years or have young children offer them extra time in the home after escrow closing at no additional cost.  I have seen sellers accept thousands of dollars less because they can make a more leisurely move.

   You can offer that they leave anything behind and that you will deal with it.  Or you can offer to pay for dumpster rental.  Anything that will make their move easier.



And one more important thing to remember:


    No one wants to be in escrow with a nasty person.  When you and your agent meet the seller or the seller’s agent, be overly polite.    Your agent also needs to be nice to everyone in the agent’s office – even the receptionist.   Sometimes the offers are so close together that you or your agent’s good manners or your personal letter is the tipping point.  Best of luck to you.

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