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Timing Your Offers and Backup Offers

First time home buyers often ask whether it is better to submit home offers one after another or all at one time. The answer to that question is that the buyer will have more leverage by submitting multiple offers simultaneously than by letting each individual offer run its course before submitting the next offer. Anyone who was buying several years ago when it was a strong seller's market remembers how the sellers held the cards because they all had multiple offers to choose from. The same is now true for buyers in this buyer's market. The more offers that a first time home buyer can make at the same time, the more walk-away power the first time home buyer has when negotiating with each seller. If you have only one offer outstanding, you are not in quite as good of a position as you would be in if you had four good offers submitted on four equally attractive properties.

What all of this means is that the buyer and buyers agent should try to view as many attractive properties in as short time as possible. By doing this, the buyer will be able to submit offers on multiple properties at nearly the same time. Another advantage of viewing as many properties in as short a time frame as possible is that all properties will be fresh in memory for direct comparison. It is much easier to compare the properties that you viewed today with the properties that you viewed yesterday as opposed to the properties that you viewed last month.

You will need to be very clear with your buyers agent about what qualities you are looking for in your next home. The agent should be able to quickly locate all of the good candidates and let you pick and choose the best ones to view. Ideally, the buyer and buyers agent can view all good candidates and submit all offers within a two week period. In this case, all offers will be in the same stages of negotiation. This makes it much easier to negotiate one seller's counter-offer against another.

As a loan officer who has worked with a number of Realtors, I have often seen home viewing go on for months. That should not happen and is not pleasant for anyone involved. In most cases, I observed that the Realtor did not have a tightly defined list of buyer criteria. In each case the agent thought that he or she did have the buyer's needs tightly defined but obviously did not since the buyer rejected every house or condo that was shown.

Make sure you have very carefully thought about what you are looking for in your next home and, very importantly, what you don't want or are not that concerned about. Convey this to your buyer's agent very specifically. Tell the agent that you would like to look at as many good candidate properties in the shortest possible time and then attempt to submit offers closely together. This will give you, the buyer, the upper hand in negotiating for your next home.



















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Brought To You By
Mark Harmon, Realtor

CalHFA Preferred Loan Officer
USA Realty and Loans

Brokerage Main Office
3994 Carson St.
San Diego, CA 92117