Why Did the Seller Reject Your Offer to Buy a Home?
If you’re looking for the secret about why the seller might reject your offer, you might be sorely disappointed in my answer. That’s because in just about every situation you can name in the Sacramento real estate market, it is the seller who chooses the buyer, not the agent. As such, the seller can have a bazillion different reasons why the seller prefers one offer over another. Yes, at this point you’re probably thinking: what about the listing agent’s input? Doesn’t the listing agent influence a seller’s decision? I believe that it is the listing agent’s job to guide, not to decide.
One way a purchase offer can gain traction is to be written correctly. This may sound overly simplified and you might wonder how anybody could write an offer incorrectly, but that’s obviously because you are not a listing agent in the greater Sacramento region. If you were a listing agent, you would know how offers can be written incorrectly.
Write the offer without mistakes is the number one rule.
It’s difficult to write a purchase contract without any mistakes. It means an agent needs to re-read MLS to make sure all of the directions were followed. Sometimes, listing agents insert tips or requirements into MLS, so it’s a good idea to review the confidential agent remarks and look for attachments in MLS. Veteran agents know that we live in strange times. It also means checking the correct boxes, making certain the buyer’s name is spelled correctly and matches the preapproval letter, double-checking the math and terms, using the right property address, including required documents, and so forth. Dot I’s. Cross T’s. Don’t give the seller a reason to reject your offer.
I can’t tell you how many offers the Elizabeth Weintraub Team gets accepted in Sacramento simply because the offer is written correctly. No other reason. It’s not our ranking or the fact that other agents respect us, it’s that our offers generally do not contain any mistakes. Because what is there for a seller to base a decision upon apart from price / net proceeds? In a short sale situation, for example, the seller isn’t even receiving any of the profits so price, while important, is really not a primary consideration. Commitment to the transaction is paramount, as is the ability to close escrow. In a short sale, you’ve gotta be willing to wait for short sale approval and be able to close without delays or hiccups.
A while back an agent changed the amount of the earnest money deposit in a purchase contract that I received. The amount was cut in half. It was simply crossed out and rewritten, without an initial. I did not know whether the agent changed the earnest money deposit or if the buyer had altered the contract, but in any case it was enough for me to question the buyer’s agent. I felt this was an issue the seller might want to know and she may raise the question herself. Why did the buyer lower the amount of the earnest money deposit on this short sale?
The buyer’s agent explained that the buyer did not want her money tied up for a period of possibly 3 months. Probably because she would be losing out on that whopping .5% interest rate paid by local banks — that 60 cents paid over 90 days.
The seller was looking for a committed buyer. A buyer who really wanted the home. A buyer who was willing for 3 months. This is a seller’s market in Sacramento. Many sellers receive multiple offers. Sometimes, a seller can receive a dozen purchase offers or more within 24 hours. In a short sale, many sellers are not looking for a reason to accept a purchase contract — they are looking for a reason to reject it so they can focus on the few offers that fit the sellers’ criteria. Try not to give the seller any reason to reject your offer.