How many times have you made what you consider to be a very fair offer on a house, only to find out later that you lost the deal to another investor? I’ll bet that has happened to just about every real estate investor at one time or another. You may even find out that the other real estate investor offered the same amount of money you did. One thing I know for sure is that they added value in some other way when they made their offer.
I have found over time, that price is not the only thing to consider when making an offer. Many times motivated sellers get even more motivated when you offer to pay closing costs. Other times, they just don’t want to deal with cleaning out the house. If the property happens to be part of an estate, removing the items left in the house after the family has taken what they want can be overwhelming for the person left with this task. By offering to complete this job for them they are often willing to accept a lower price.
So how do you know what “extra” to offer?
The answer is simple. Just ask them! After you have gotten a feel for the price they are hoping to get, ask the seller this simple question. “If I could wave a magic wand and make this deal perfect for you, what else would I need to do? What other problem could I solve for you?” Then just sit back and wait. Let them tell you what they need. Find out what will make your seller a motivated seller.
Maybe it is closing costs or the cleanout of the property. But then again, maybe it’s something entirely different. Here are just a few of the things I have been asked to do:
- Pay back taxes of $1000.00.
- Pay $350.00 in fines levied on the property by the city inspector.
- Pay to have an old car removed from the property.
- Pay off a lien on the house from the city inspector which was $800.00.
- Pay the attorney fees they had incurred to close the estate and the closing costs which totaled roughly $1300.00.
Did I figure the cost of doing these things in my offer? You bet I did! And I’ll say it again, if you can make their life easier in some way they are often willing to take less money for the house. Give it a try the next time you make an offer.