Updated: Jan 23
When it's your first time writing up an offer for a client, or you have a client that has you writing up offer #74,802,9103, it's easy to only focus on the purchase agreement and lose sight of other items you could or SHOULD be including in your paperwork that give you and your client that extra edge.
Here is a breakdown of the bare minimum when it comes to offer paperwork:
1. Pre-Approval Letter
This is not to be confused with a Pre-QUALIFICATION letter. When a lender pre-qualifies a Buyer, they get number estimates and request info over the phone.
When a Buyer is pre-APPROVED that means the lender has reviewed documentation submitted by the Buyer and they have filled out an application. Including this in your offer shows the Sellers that not only are the Buyers qualified for the loan they mention in their offer, but it also shows some level of commitment to their lender.
There is nothing more frustrating than when the Buyer decides to switch lenders in the middle of a transaction and you have to start all over.
When a Buyer has completed a lengthy application with a lender, they typically have built up trust and a relationship.
2. Agent Full Printout of the
MLS Active Page
There are many reasons this item is useful in preparing and submitting your offer. For starters, you can use the information to complete a more thorough purchase contract by noting any items included or excluded in the sale, agent preferences in the notes section and even the MLS # can be entered into ZipForms so the address and agent contact info gets auto-populated.
Another valuable aspect of the MLS printout is to confirm your commission amount. Some listing agents have been known to lower the offered commission amount once they start to receive offers that are lower than asking price. If you have proof/confirmation of the offered amount when the property was an active listing, it's easier to hold the agent to that amount.
3. Proof of Funds
Since most of banking these days is completed online, it should take only a few clicks to get an account summary showing the client has the funds they are claiming to have on the offer.
Feel free to redact any account number or personal information, but don't get too Sharpie happy and black out the important stuff.
What's important? Well for starters, make sure the name on the bank account matches the name on the offer.
Don't send bank statements that only show a trust name or a corporation, unless that is the entity purchasing the property.
Make sure you include the date/month of the statement so the Seller knows it's current.
And make sure you note if the money will be consolidated from more than one account if that's the plan.
Providing this with your offer shows the Seller that the money is ready to go and that they don't have to liquidate an account or make any transfers that could cause delays.
4. Personal and Customized Letter from Buyer to Seller
Any top producing listing agent will tell you that the letters make all the difference.
Don't let your Buyer get lazy and type up a cookie cutter letter that you can swap out the address and a feature here and there to be used across the board.
Encourage your Buyer to write up an offer from the heart and be truly honest about why they feel that home is right for them.
Pictures are always a nice touch as well.
Even properties sold by banks or business have an actual human behind the scenes and you never know who might be effected by your client's words. There hasn't been a story yet where a letter did any harm, so it's a pretty safe bet.
5. A Clear, Clean Copy of a
It seems obvious, right? You would be surprised what comes across the desk of your TC over the course of their career.
First off, make sure that your Buyer AND YOU have signed the contract. (Don't forget that spot for Buyer initials on the bottom of page 10).
Second, make sure that your offer makes sense. Don't contradict your request in one section by writing in different terms in another section.
Double check that every single section has been completed and that each box is checked. If you have a tendency to miss some spots, go into your Zipform settings and change the background colors to be a bold or bright color. This will help make sure all the sections are at least noticed.
And once you have a signed contract, especially if it's been hand signed, make sure you scan a clean and clear copy. A fax of printed photo doesn't help anyone and it makes you look sloppy. Technology is too good these days for that to slide anymore.
Show the Seller that the Buyer's agent knows what their doing.
It's always a good idea to reach out to the Listing Agent and ask them for any specific terms they prefer on the offer. Most of the time the Buyer's agent write in "Seller's Choice" for services, so go the extra mile and save everyone the hassle of a counter offer by making your offer as clean and pleasing to Seller and Listing Agent as possible. It shows you are reasonable and will be a pleasure to work with!
We hope you found these tips useful!
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