I realize that this may sound strange, but in parts of the Nation right now, there are often multiple offers to buy a house if it is priced right. This is much, much different than just a few months ago where properties were lucky to get one offer.
If you are in an area where multiple offers on a house are common, there is one thing in particular that you can do to help your chances of the seller accepting your offer above all the other offers.
Remember -- sometimes the "seller" is really "the bank" because it is a bank owned property and this "tip" is one thing that people who work at banks in the REO division actually understand and look for:
Get Pre-Approved and not just Pre-Qualified.
Get Pre-Approved, Not Pre-Qualified Getting pre-qualified is easy. You pick up the phone, have a conversation with a loan officer and based on whatever you tell him, he will tell you whether or not you are pre-qualified. The catch here is that in order to become pre-qualified, you don’t actually have to prove what you are saying — you just have to say it.
So if you called me, told me that you had perfect credit, made a million dollars a month in W2 income and wanted to finance a $200k house — I would say that you are pre-approved based on what you told me.
But if you came to the office, provided paystubs and tax returns documenting your pay history and I pulled your credit and verified everything - then you are pre-approved.
Pre-qualified = the lender takes your word for it.
Pre-approved = you have proven it to the lender.
Getting pre-approved takes more work on your part, but when you are just one of 5 offers to a seller? Getting pre-approved can make all the difference. There is usually no fee for getting pre-approved and it is a fairly simple process and well worth your time.
Unless of course you don’t mind submitting multiple offers on multiple houses and just hope that one of them sticks.