20 Offers Over Asking: How Both Parties Ended Up Jumping for Joy in a Recent Transaction

Disclaimer: Not an actual photo of the buyer and seller, LOL!

There’s no doubt our market is a little…”frenzied” is a good word, I think. (See more on that in my February 2021 Market Update and Insight video.)

What else could you call a market in which a relatively modest home had 110 showings over just 3 days and ended up with 20 offers, all over asking price?

The actual home in this transaction

The sellers were thrilled since they needed to sell quickly due to a relocation. The buyers were thrilled to get a great home without busting their budget.

Check out what they each did right to get to this mutually happy ending. Chances are, you’ll find some useful tips for your own home sale or search.

Secrets to Success for the Seller

I represented the seller in this transaction. The home, as I said earlier, was relatively modest — built in 1981 and nicely updated, just over 1,800 sf, with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, in Aurora’s Mission Viejo neighborhood.

The seller needed a quick sale due to relocation out of state. When I say quick, I mean quick — we only had 3 days for showings!  The home went on the market on a Thursday and all offers were due that Sunday afternoon. 

But a quick sale wasn’t all the seller needed. They also needed assurance that the sale would close so they could move ahead with their life in a new state without the hassle and stress of contracts falling through at the last minute.

Seller’s Right Move #1: Staging

The house was empty and clean. A less-seasoned agent might have put it on the market that way. However, my experience has proven that homes that are staged attract the highest-quality buyers. As I do for all of my listings, I had the home staged to help potential buyers see it for all of its great possibilities.

Seller’s Right Move #2: Strategic Pricing

I can’t emphasize this enough: it’s CRUCIAL to be strategic when pricing a home for sale. Take a look at this graphic; it shows the percentage of buyers who will look at a home based on whether it’s priced at, above, or below market value:

Do you want 60% of buyers looking at your home, or only 20%?

Market value on this home was between $390,000 and $410,000. We deliberately priced it at $390,000 to attract the attention of buyers looking for a good deal AND to attract the attention of buyers looking for homes up to $400,000. If we had priced it at $405,000, it would never have popped up in those buyers’ search alerts.

Seller’s Right Move #2-1/2: Ultra-Short Showing Period

As I mentioned earlier, this home went on the market on a Thursday and all offers were due by that Sunday afternoon. That’s an ultra-short showing period. I call it “Seller’s Right Move #2-1/2” because it wasn’t a strategic choice to enforce such a fast call for bids…it was just a necessity for this particular seller. While I wouldn’t recommend it as a common tactic it did — when combined with the strategic pricing — result in getting no-messing-around offers from serious buyers.

Secrets to Success for the Buyer

The successful buyer of this property did more than a few things right, too. As you look through this list, I want you to see that everything they did was calculated to meet or exceed what the *seller* needed. Take a look:

Buyer’s Right Move #1: Being Pre-Approved with Conventional Financing

It’s been true for decades and it’s still true: in most cases, sellers give preference to buyers who are pre-approved with conventional financing and significant downpayments. Those loans require the most extensive documentation and the highest creditworthiness. No wonder, then, that sellers have the most confidence in the transaction going smoothly when these kinds of buyers are involved. That was certainly the case with this sale.

Buyer’s Right Move #2: Shopping Well Below Budget

The buyer in this transaction had been approved for more than the home’s $390,000 listing price…but wisely chose to shop below budget. I say “wisely” because that strategy allowed the buyer to offer the seller more than the asking price (a win for the seller) AND allowed them to get the home without going over budget (a win for the buyer).  

Buyer’s Right Move #3: Waiving Inspection and Appraisal

Finally, the buyer in this transaction did one last thing to make it easy on the seller…they waived inspection and appraisal. This gave the seller assurance that they would not be asked to make any repairs or give any credits for them. It also gave the seller the assurance that the buyer would still proceed with the purchase if the appraisal didn’t come in at or above the sales price (and it didn’t in this case).

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