June 20, 2013 by

With home prices rising, potential buyers need to make their offer stand out. To help beef up your offer, here are five questions you should ask:

  • Do I have a strong pre-approval letter? Get pre-approved for a loan from a trusted lender. This letter is evidence of how much you can borrow and shows that a lender has done a credit check and verified income and assets, so your ultimate mortgage approval can go more smoothly.
  • Do I know what the seller wants? Working with a reputable real estate agent, you should determine the seller’s motivations. In some cases, sellers want to close quickly. Other times, they may be waiting to relocate and a speedy closing is less important.
  • Can I avoid contingencies? Sellers who do want to close quickly may get antsy about contingent offers—such as when the buyer needs to sell a current residence. Try to avoid contingencies if possible.
  • Is my offer price strong? A good real estate agent should be able to advise you on comparable sales and listings in the neighborhood you want. This information can help you strengthen your offer.
  • Do I have the cash to close? It’s helpful to have your cash amassed in a liquid account to cover the down payment, closing costs, and other expenses.

If you answer “yes” to all or most of these questions, then you’ll be on stronger footing when it comes to making an offer on a home.

Mike Becker is a mortgage banking regional sales manager for Bank of the West – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Becker lives and works in Omaha and can be reached at mike.becker@bankofthewest.com. 

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