What happens if you’ve been searching for the house of your dreams—whether it’s a beautiful home for sale in Belmont Shore or a fantastic home next door to an investment property that you’d also own, like 4220 East 14th Street in Long Beach—but someone swoops in and makes an offer before you do?
You make a backup offer, of course.
But what is a backup offer, and what are the odds that the seller will eventually accept it?
What is a Backup Offer?
A backup offer is a lot like a regular offer that you’d make if nobody else was interested in buying the house. You let the seller know how much you’re willing to pay, and he or she can negotiate with you until you reach terms that are agreeable to everyone involved.
The difference: You make a backup offer after someone else has already started a real estate transaction to buy the house.
Why Should You Make a Backup Offer?
Real estate deals fall through every day. Sometimes financing doesn’t work out, or the buyers get cold feet… there are several reasons a transaction could fall apart. While that’s the original buyer’s loss, it could be your gain—provided that you put in a backup offer.
If you’re sure you want the home, you don’t have anything to lose by putting in a backup offer.
Should Your Backup Offer Stand Out From the Rest?
One important thing to remember is that if you fell in love with the house, and you know the people who made the first offer fell in love with the house, chances are good that other people will put in backup offers, too.
It always makes sense to make your backup offer stand out.
- Personalize it. Find some way to connect with the seller, the house, or the area and let the seller know. Tell the seller how much you love the floors, why you enjoy the community’s atmosphere, or anything else that you really liked about the home specifically.
- Give them your best offer. Naturally, offering over asking price is a surefire way to get the seller’s attention. However, even if that’s not possible, give them your best offer right out of the gate.
- Ask your agent to check in on the transaction. If the first deal falls through, the seller’s agent will know how serious you are about stepping in to pick it up when your Lakewood Realtor® has been calling periodically to see how things are going.
- Make an earnest money deposit. Like any other real estate transaction, a backup offer will typically require an earnest money deposit for the seller to take you seriously.
It’s still important to be realistic, though, if only for your own sanity. The deal may go through as planned—and if that happens, you’ll get your earnest money back and be free to make an offer on another house.
You also need to realize that if the first deal falls through, there could be a reason for it. The home inspection may have turned up major issues, or the house could’ve appraised at a lower price than the seller is asking. Your Realtor can walk you through any situation that arises.
Are You Buying a Home in Lakewood or Long Beach?
If you’re ready to start your home search, we’re here to help. Call us at 562-882-1581 to let us know what you need. We’ll help you find it.
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