Competing Against Cash Buyers


As the market in most places continues to recover and shift from having nosedived, you might have already seen that a lot of people getting back into the real estate game are the ones with cash on hand to make an offer. For ordinary buyers coming in with mortgages and other loans, this can get a little intimidating. If you’re careful, though, you can still make your offer look just as attractive.

Give an attractive offer: If you can get a loan at full asking price, or even for more, plenty of sellers will be just as happy with that as a cash offer for a similar amount—in fact, they might be happier with that than a cash offer for less. You can also find other ways to make yourself look good, like offering a quick closing date or taking furniture the seller wants to leave behind. Cash buyers are more likely to be investors just looking for a good deal. Sellers sometimes appreciate a buyer who isn’t trying to haggle them down.

Be pre-approved for a good loan: Make sure you already have your loan application in well before making an offer. The more you can do to reassure the seller your loan is solid, the better. Make sure you have a reputable lender, and finding one locally might also help. You’ll have the chance to develop a closer relationship with the bank that way, and so will the seller. The important thing is demonstrating that you’re just as serious about being able to pay as someone with cash up front.

Show passion: Since a house is such a personal thing to buy, it’s often a good idea to show that you’ll love it as much as the seller does. Some agents swear by sending a letter to the seller. In some cases this can be a good idea, if you put a lot of work into it and can speak to the seller’s particular situation. Keep in mind that this is most helpful as a way to tip the scales when your offer is already competitive.

Keep the process simple: Part of making a good offer is limiting the contingencies and other conditions you’re asking for. Although you might not want to waive the inspection, waiving the appraisal can help speed things along. If you have a steady income and are confident of your loan application being accepted, especially if you’re not straining your budget, you might even consider removing the loan contingency from your end. Don’t make your offer dependent on being able to sell your own current place. 

These are all good ways to make yourself look good, even when competing against cash investors. While you might feel like an offer with a loan isn’t as good, making the package as a whole look as good as possible will improve your chances.

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