Making a great offer in a seller's market 2022

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Preferred Realty

How to Make a Great offer on a house in North Carolina when you're in still a seller's market - June 2022

Making a great offer in a seller's market

Price - Price is the first thing sellers want to know. For some home sellers, this is everything.  You'll need a pre-approval letter or proof of funds if you're paying cash. To be honest, mortgage money is just as green as cash. And, people getting a mortgage are less likely to walk away from a deal than someone paying cash.

Due Diligence - This is specific to North Carolina. It is the non-refundable fee buyers pay up front to secure their offer. It is negotiable and can be any amount. Of course, it has to be acceptable to the seller or the offer will not get accepted. Over the years we've seen anything from zero dollars to the full purchase price. These days, zero dollars won't get you anywhere. The reason this is important is because the seller knows if you walk away, they keep this money and it helps pay for things such as that extra mortgage payment they had to make since they didn't close on time, moving deposits, or deficits from the next offer. It is always stressful when a buyer walks away and leaves a seller hanging. They'd rather have the deal go through than earn the due diligence fee. When that unfortunate situations happens where a buyer walks away, it at least helps make up for some of the cost and stress of the situation. This is huge for home sellers when deciding which offer to accept. And remember, it is non-refundable.

Due Diligence date - The shorter the better. These days, we often see no days for due diligence. In the past, we've seen up to 30 days. Fewer days gives a home seller the warm fuzzy feeling that a buyer is less likely to walk away.

Closing date - This is important to home sellers. They want a date that lines up with what is important in their lives. Your agent can talk with the listing agent and ask what dates are important to the seller.

Earnest money - We rarely see this these days but I suspect we'll begin to see it more often. It is the money held in a trust. If a buyer walks away after their due diligence date, then this money also becomes non refundable and is retained by the seller.

No repairs - Home sellers love this. It means the transaction will have less stress. Selling a home is very stressful. Getting it ready to sell begins well before it hits the market. So going into an offer knowing you're not going to be asked to do repairs or nickel and dimed throughout the process, helps make it less stressful.

Appraisal addendum - This is the sellers's assurance that the buyer will pay the price they offered. The appraisal is for the lender. That means the buyer will cover the difference. If the buyer's offer is the highest but they won't cover the difference, then it may not be the best offer.

Leaseback/seller possession - This can be very important to a home seller. Sometimes they want their kids to finish school, need time to get into their next house, or need time to find a house. This just makes the transition to their next house easier. 

There may be other things you can do as a buyer to win an offer on a house in North Carolina. Your Real Estate agent can walk you through those things.

Posted by

Raleigh Cary Apex Realtor Carla Freund Realty

Presented by:

Carla Freund of Ask Realtor Carla

Carla Freund Realty Team

Keller Williams Preferred Realty

By Carla Freund Realty Team

Original Home of "Market In A Minute" Real Estate Report for Raleigh Cary CH & Durham Triangle

Carolina Life Real Estate and Relocation


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Contact Carla Freund, Broker, Keller Williams Preferred Realty,  Licensed Realtor® in North Carolina at 919-602-8489 to list your property for sale or to purchase a property in Cary, Raleigh, Morrisville, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Pittsboro, Durham, Chapel Hill, Johnston County, and the surrounding areas.

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Comments (8)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Carla, You are on a round today with two straight blogs to share with us in the Rain.  Make it a great 


Jul 01, 2022 07:39 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you Will! I had some information I wanted to get out there.

Jul 02, 2022 06:43 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Well, you nailed making a great Offer in NC, Carla! I just had a conversation with an agent on a SC deal we are trying to put together. We wondered why the attorneys who wrote the new SC Offers didn't try to mimic our NC Offers a bit more! They're quite different and FAR more complicated! 

Great explanation, Carla!

Jul 03, 2022 10:41 PM
Carla Freund

Oh yes. I was speaking with a SC agent and she said they have their own contracts outside of what is offered. Crazy!

Jul 04, 2022 06:44 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good advice to share. Have a very productive summer.

Jul 04, 2022 05:20 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you Roy. You as well!

Jul 04, 2022 06:43 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Carla Freund - Sage advice! A serious buyer would be wise to read your blog posts, follow your advice, and hire you for representation. 

This post is packed with great information for consumers!

Jul 04, 2022 08:19 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you so much Patricia! Have a wonderful week!

Jul 05, 2022 07:30 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

It's very interesting to see how the states differ Carla Freund .  For example, we do not have due diligence in Florida.  A buyer's deposit is refundable during their as-is inspection period but not after.  

Jul 04, 2022 01:08 PM
Carla Freund

I know. I had my Real Estate license in FL for 8 years before I had kids and moved to NC.

A few years ago we sold my Mother-In-Laws house in FL. The first buyer walked away because they changed their mind and of course had nothing to lose. It can be hard on sellers to put homes back on the market and go through the emotional roller coaster of offers. I'm glad we have a due diligence fee. Most people are pretty serious when they make an offer here. Thank you for commenting. 

Jul 05, 2022 07:30 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

We are still in a solid Sellers Market here Carla, although we are seeing Back on Market properties happening daily!

Jul 05, 2022 11:02 AM
Carla Freund

I hate to hear that. It is so stressful for sellers when their homes go back on the market.

Jul 06, 2022 08:09 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Interesting that you have "due diligence" and potentially "earnest money" in your market place.  We only have earnest money, but we are also a non-judicial state.  I get to practice being an attorney and am there through every facet of a home purchase and sale.  I've spoken with several realtors, including my daughter in Huntsville, AL who is a realtor in her judicial state.  Real estate takes a season professional to help those buyers and sellers.  Great job at explaining your market place and providing your professional experience for those clients!

Jul 07, 2022 11:47 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you Jan. It certainly does take a seasoned agent. I'm a big proponent of agents having to work as an apprentice before going out on their own. Some might argue that is what the broker is for but there is so much more to know.

Jul 08, 2022 07:31 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Wow, you guys are strict there, our EMD is fully refundable until after all contingencies have been removed. I like it though, it gives everyone more confidence in your market that the buyer means to close.

Aug 07, 2022 07:00 AM
Carla Freund

Most agents hated it when it first changed over a decade ago. Now I think it is a good idea to a point. The past two years people were making crazy offers risking $25k-$100k and beyond. That is a little unnerving. Many agents asked the RE Commission to put a cap on it and they decided not to as it is a representation of the market demand AND the market is settling in to pre-2021/2022 levels. To be honest, 2018, 2019, and 2020 were great markets and some even thought we had peaked during those years. 

Aug 08, 2022 06:53 AM