1. If you talk to the homeowners and attempt to build rapport you will have a higher likelihood of winning your bid.
Odds are you won't offend the Seller too much if you try and hold a simple and quick conversation while viewing their home. Unfortunately not all Buyers and Buyers Agents have the ability to keep their mouths shut when it matters the most. Some Agents and Buyers lead into conversations that they shouldn't be having. Before you know you it, you've offended, annoyed or made the Sellers uncomfortable. Something as simple as talking about your Alma Mater or a recent vacation to a communist country could prove to be disastrous. Keep pleasantries simple and kind. There's no need to discuss the origen of Oriental rugs and how sweatshops in Cambodia are the reason our economy isn't doing better especially since "you know who is in office." And the Texas Aggies hate the Longhorns.
2. If I submit a kind letter about the house about how wonderfully it's been kept I'll hit a soft spot with the sellers.
Not necessarily true. It's not even a matter of fact that this letter will even accompany the offer to the Seller. If a letter is attached to the offer in attempt to emotionally sway the Seller then the Listing Agent will likely forewarn a Seller about its intent. This could lead to slight resentment by both the Seller and Listing agent. It happens. Not everyone will bend or appreciate flattery while negotiating on such a large investment.
3. Cash is King. I will win the bid because I have cash. I'm awesome.
You might be awesome, but using cash won't get you the keys to the city. It may not even get you keys to the house. First, it's critical you have liquid cash, not money tied up in an investment account. Your money better be local and not tied up in another country waiting to be delayed and messed with by red tape, The Patriot Act and who knows what else. Someone with a Conventional Loan could easily topple your cash offer, especially if they are more willing to bend on "terms." Perhaps the buyer with a conventional loan offered a leaseback to the Seller even though they didn't ask for one. Hmmm.... many people don't think about that, but he who asks first, usually wins. It helps to offer conditions to the Seller before they have asked themselves. Sadly, some Listing Agents don't think about a Seller Leaseback until a week before closing. Perhaps a buyer with a conventional loan has offered to clear up inspections within 3 days instead of 10. TERMS and CASH can be King.
4. My kids go to school with the sellers and we both are Dallas Cowboys fans. I used to play golf with the Sellers and they like me.
None of this matters. It may not even matter that you are related. When it comes to money you can fuggedaboudit.
5. The Listing Agent is with RE/MAX and my Buyer's Agent is with RE/MAX.... surely they'll make this happen since RE/MAX gets all the commission.
It doesn't matter. Each office is independently owned and operated. ME, MYSELF and I get my cut. My Broker/Owner get's her cut. It doesn't matter if another RE/MAX office is involved or not. RE/MAX itself isn't getting paid anymore or any less.