Let's Get Real - Writing Offers Correctly the First Time
First impressions matter and that is true when making offers as well.
One of my pet peeves is receiving offers written incorrectly or sloppily. Even though offer often do get changed in the negotiation process, the appearance and accuracy of the initial offer does transfer some expectations to the sellers of how a transaction will transpire should the offer be accepted and raise questions about the competency of the cooperating agent and even the diligence on the part of the buyer to follow through on the terms of the contract.
Naturally, as a REALTOR® who works with many sellers, many offers cross my desk. Here are some recent examples of areas were of concern right from the get-go:
- Computations: Our forms list offer price, initial deposit, amount (or percentage) for financing, and a "balance to close". If the offer amount is $171,500, the deposit is $1,000 and financing is 47%, the balance to close is not $170,500! By the way, when I pointed this out to the buyers agent, the reply was, "I've always done it this way and never had a problem."
- Time Frames and Dates: Make sure time frames make sense. Don't ask to close in ten days and also ask for a 15 day inspection period. Use a calendar to figure out whether a closing date falls on a weekend or national holiday.
- Use of Correct Forms: In Florida, contract forms were changed a month or so ago and reflect some significant changes. By all means, throw out the old and use the new! There was a reason, real estate attorneys and the Florida Realtors organization got together to make these changes.
Perhaps this all sounds very sticklerish on my part and maybe these are in fact three pet peeves!
Nevertheless, even if the actual terms of the offer will need some work, a clean and properly written offer will be looked upon more favorably by sellers than one that appears messy, disorganized and needing "house keeping" corrections that are a distraction from the actual terms. A little bit more attention, time and effort at the beginning could make the difference between an offer that is being accepted or rejected.