How to make your offer stand out when buying a home

For many owners, choosing which offer to accept is not always strictly about dollars and cents.

While price is the primary influence, other factors can come into play. Some want their home to go to a first-home buyer rather than an investor and will accept a slightly lower offer in order to make that happen. Some owners prefer cleaner offers and will accept the second or third highest offer to gain more certainty.

There are also situations where two offers are received around the same price. In that scenario, how does an owner choose which offer to accept? It often comes down to the story behind each buyer.

In this article, we will run you through a series of tips to make your offer stand out and increase your chances of acceptance, even if you aren’t offering the highest price.

Avoid the discount pricing trap

One of the most common mistakes homebuyers make is offering just below a round figure. If you are going in at something like $399k, then take the plunge and increase your figure slightly to $400k, or better still, $401k. Your offer will look infinitely more attractive to the seller and you will instantly separate yourself from any other buyers making this rookie mistake.

Use uneven numbers

Following on from the last point – try to avoid offering a round figure like $600,000. When you offer a simple amount it appears ‘plucked’ out of thin air and makes it look like you must have more in the tank. Instead, offer something like $601,745. The second amount makes it look like you are putting every penny in to make your offer stick.

It also looks like you have spent a lot of time evaluating the property to come up with your price. Use an uneven number slightly above whatever round figure you are considering.

Cross out a few lower numbers

By the time you get to the point where you are ready to offer on a property, it’s highly likely your perception of value has increased and you will end up offering more than you initially wanted to. Show this progression to a potential seller by crossing out a few lower numbers on your offer before adding your final price (an un-even amount, slightly above a round figure).

This subtle move shows you are working hard to provide the sellers with a decent offer. Most importantly, it helps the owners feel like they have secured the best possible result they could.

Attach a letter and photo

Share your story with the owners. Selling a property is a big event in anyone’s life and most sellers will take the time to consider your situation. While it may not help if your offer is $40k off the highest price, it could make all the difference if you are in close competition with a buyer who hasn’t added this personal touch.

For sellers who have been in their home for many years, there is often a sentimental element to the sale and they are interested in who they are passing their home on to. You might end up winning in a competitive situation, even if your offer is second highest, if your story is heartfelt and compelling.

Keep your terms and conditions as short as possible

Another rookie mistake is putting more time on your terms and conditions than you realistically need. While it’s important that you undertake all the research you need to be confident in your buying decision, many buyers choose to specify more time than is necessary because they don’t want to feel rushed.

When choosing the length of time for your conditions, it’s important to remember that you are asking the owner to essentially remove their home from the market for the period of time you specify. Usually, with no guarantee your offer will proceed. They could lose valuable marketing time if you don’t go ahead.

That’s why many owners accept the second or third highest offer in a competitive situation if the terms and conditions are shorter (or removed entirely). Bringing the sale to a conclusion quickly is often more important to sellers than securing every last dollar.

Are you ready to start looking?

Give us a call to talk through your buying criteria. We can keep you posted on any new properties coming to the market that might suit.


Tony Skilling

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, REA 2008
Arizto New Plymouth
Mobile: 020 486 6975

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Tony Skilling © 2021 • New Plymouth Real Estate Salesperson with Arizto

Licensed REA 2008