What actions should you be taking when sellers fail to respond to your real estate purchase offers?
Some buyers and real estate investors are finding that they are frequently running into this challenge. It can be incredibly frustrating, and disappointing to say the least. So what are some of the smart steps you can take to produce more responses, motivate faster action, and get the properties you want?
Send More Offers
When you are seeking good deals, your offers will reflect your intentions. You’ve got to expect a few of your first offers to fall flat, even if they are fair. All you can do is know your numbers. How many offers does it take to get a signed real estate contract on average? Out of that number, how many actually close? Back the numbers out, and recognize how many offers you need to be making. For example; if you want to be acquiring a deal per week, but only one out of two contracts close, and only one out of five offers are accepted; you need to be making 10 offers a week, or two per each business day.
Make Better Offers
Sometimes it is the quality of your offers, not the quantity which is the issue. You certainly don’t want to overpay, but it does help to make a strong first offer. If you aren’t even close, or fail to build confidence in that first offer, you may not be taken seriously.
Try making sure you have a decent match upfront. A quick email in advance might help avoid a lot of stress and wasted time. For example; “I’m interested in buying this property, would you or your client entertain an offer that looks like this…” You may mention price range, a specific contingency that is important to you, or the fact you are looking for seller financing.
The more you know about the seller and their motivating factors, the more precise your offers will be. Are they most concerned with price? Net cash? Closing on a specific day? Or just guaranteeing the Realtor gets paid their commission, no matter what?
Strengthen offers by:
- Making earnest money deposits in tandem with your purchase offer
- Making larger deposits
- Including mortgage pre-qualification or Proof of Funds (POF) letters with your offer
- Include a cover letter
Limit the Time to Answer
If you don’t like spending days and nights wondering if you are ever going to get an answer to your offer, cut it short with an expiring offer. Only give the seller 24 hours to respond before the offer expires. This way you aren’t locked in if they accept it later, and you can keep making other offers without taking on a ton of obligations. You can always entertain a counteroffer, or make a follow up offer at the seller’s request after the expiration date.
If you don’t like uncertainty, follow up. Confirm they received the offer, let them know they are running out of time, invite counteroffers.
Make sure you have the right contact information. It also wouldn’t hurt to find other ways to connect: phone, mail, text, email, social media.
If you aren’t hearing back on a really hot piece of property, don’t be afraid to chase them down. Post a letter if you have to, warning them about your offer expiring.
Put Pressure on the Agent
Agents have many responsibilities, and you can’t be sure what they are facing on the back end. They may have a nightmare seller, and could really be trying to land this deal for you. Other times, it has been found that they are actually just holding out to make more money. So don’t get too crazy and judge too quickly.
Don’t forget these struggles when you are the seller. Are you responding fast enough? What’s fast enough? What is smart in terms of strategy versus just cruel?