After searching and searching, you finally found the perfect Stone Oak home. Competition is fierce. Other buyers want that property, too. The answer? Submit an offer that is higher than the list price, right? Not so fast. Just because your offer may be the highest doesn't necessarily mean that the seller will pick you. Here's how to submit a winning offer on that Stone Oak home you love so much. (Hint: it's not always about the money).

How to Submit a Winning Offer

Get Your Financing in Order First

How to Submit a Winning Offer - Search homes for sale in the San Antonio areaIt is of utmost importance that you secure financing before you even start looking for a Stone Oak home. Without funding in place, it doesn't matter what you offer the seller. They may skip over your offer for a lesser one if the other buyer is pre-approved for a loan and you're not. Make sure your pre-approval letter is dated no later than 30 days before you submit your offer, though. Buyers may be concerned with older approvals because your credit may have changed over time, which might harm your chances of final approval. (PS - hold off on major purchases while you're looking for a new home, ie, furniture, cars, jewelry, etc. Otherwise, your pre-approval may turn into "denied" in the end.)

Be Flexible

Some sellers want to get this property off their hands as quickly as possible. Others need more time to find another home to move into. Knowing the seller's time frame helps you submit a winning offer. Cater your terms to what the seller wants and they'll be more likely to choose your offer from any other.

Keep Contingencies to a Minimum

In a real estate transaction, some contingencies are expected. Contingencies like an appraisal, a home inspection, and a clear title are common. But to submit a winning offer, you need to keep these requests to a minimum. Having the seller throw in the furniture, retiling the pool or asking for them to pay all of the closing costs may turn the seller off.

If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again

Just because the seller didn't accept your first offer doesn't mean you should give up. You may not have submitted the initial winning offer. But, offers that come in well above asking prove to be canceled at a higher rate than those closer to the list price. Why? Sometimes, it's because their funding fell through for some reason. If this is the house you really, really want, make sure your real estate agent keeps in touch with the listing agent throughout the escrow process. Then, if the deal falls through, you can be the next in line for the property with your winning offer.

Show Your Love

Believe it or not, words are powerful, even when it comes to Stone Oak living. Write a letter to the owner to submit along with your offer. Tell them what you love about the house. Reassure them that you won't be tearing it down to build something else. Tell them how you imagine watching the kids run around in the backyard. Explain the many family get-togethers and holiday parties you see hosting here. If you love to cook, talk about how great the kitchen will be for preparing the meals you love most. To submit a winning offer, you need to connect with the sellers on a personal level. A finely crafted introductory letter helps accomplish that goal.

LUX Move Up* by Christine Aldrete Banks, CRS, SRS, RSPS