When your client’s dream home is on the line, it’s critical to be overprepared when you put in your offer. Every detail counts, especially in a seller’s market where you might be competing with dozens of other offers.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the five elements you’ll need for every real estate offer. It pays to be prepared!
1) Pre-approval letter
Your pre-approval letter proves that your client has been pre-approved by their lender after reviewing their finances. It’ll also include the amount that the client has been pre-approved to borrow.
Note that the pre-approval letter doesn’t guarantee that your clients will get the mortgage down the line, but it does send an important signal to sellers that your clients are invested in the process. They’ll be more likely to take your offer seriously with pre-approval than without it.
As a final detail, make sure to note the expiration date on your client’s pre-approval letter. Most pre-approval letters expire within either 30 or 60 days of issue, so if your search is on the longer side, you may need a new letter.
2) Proof of funds (EMD)
Next, let’s talk about your client’s proof of funds. EMD stands for “earnest money deposit,” and in a seller’s market, it’s a key differentiator. The EMD is typically requested within a few days of your client’s offer being accepted, and it usually amounts to 1-2% of the home’s purchase price.
Sellers often choose buyers that include an EMD in their offer—especially a high EMD—as proof that their offer is serious and will be honored if it’s accepted.
3) Agent full MLS printout
The MLS printout is the next thing you should include in your offer. The MLS printout serves as a physical record of the listing. It’s an important record of what your offer is tied to, and it can become important if there are any discrepancies in amenities or the home’s condition down the line.
Include it to stay ahead of any and all potential points of contention.
4) Offer letter summary
Your offer letter outlines your client’s intent to purchase the seller’s property. Include the relevant details including the client’s offer price, desired closing timeline, and payment setup (cash vs. financing), and anything else that feels relevant.
While personal letters have become common, sharing details about your client’s personal stories and connection to the home just introduces potential bias and irrelevant information. Keep it short and professional in your offer.
5) Clean copy of buyer signed offer
Finally, make sure to include a clean copy of the buyer signed offer. This is the finishing touch that ties the whole offer together, illustrating to sellers and their agents that you’re devoted to a professional, meticulous experience that runs smoothly for all parties. They’ll appreciate your attention to detail!
Ultimately, all real estate agents know that you can never guarantee an offer will be accepted. But you can definitely increase your odds by making sure to include the five items above. Every detail counts!