Because we work with so many home sellers it gives us the ability to provide our clients who are buying a home great advice about how to structure an offer that a seller will accept. Here are a few mistakes we have seen buyers make when submitting offers on our listings.

Assuming the seller will negotiate with you.  One of the most common mistakes we see is a buyer who loves a house but just can’t get out of their own way to make a good first offer. They try to submit a low-ball offer. When we get another offer many times the seller decides to negotiate only with the 2nd offer and never gives the buyer who made the low-ball offer a chance to make a Best & Final offer. There’s a saying “Do you want to buy the house or try to buy the house?” Buyers who assume they can dip their toe in the water by making a low-ball offer and will be given a 2nd chance are often disappointed.

Asking for professional cleaning. When you’re trying to get an offer accepted quickly telling a seller she is messy isn’t a great strategy. A better strategy is to negotiate a lower price and pay $150 for cleaning after you own the house.

Asking for furniture/appliances up front. We recently had a buyer ask a widowed home seller for furniture she cherished. That didn’t go over well. When another offer came in she was so offended she didn’t want to negotiate with the first buyer. For some reason furniture and appliances become very emotional for buyers and sellers. It’s better left for negotiations after you are under contract rather than losing a great home over a refrigerator.

Not being pre-qualified for a mortgage. Unless you are paying cash you will need to obtain financing. There is no reason not to be pre-qualified prior to making an offer. We have seen many times a buyer who is not pre-qualified make an offer only to lose out when another buyer who was better prepared made an offer.

Working with a Realtor who doesn’t write a good contract. Most home sellers want to net the most money from their home but they also don’t want to deal with a lot of hassles. When we receive an offer that is not written well the seller assumes the Realtor writing the offer is not competent. The seller will also assume going under contract with a buyer represented by a Realtor who is not competent will be a frustrating experience. Many sellers are willing to accept a lower sales price if they can sell without any unnecessary issues popping up.

If you are planning to buy a home in the Austin area and want to make an offer the seller can’t refuse call Eric Peterson at 512-791-7473 or

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