Although the Irvine real estate market has slowed a bit over the past several months, potential buyers are still at the ready to snap up great home deals when they hit the market. Irvine is one of the most popular cities to call home in Orange County – from new real estate options to incredible schools and being one of the safest cities in the United States, Irvine will always be a highly desirable place to live. The biggest mistake potential buyers can make these days is to assume that bidding wars are done and low-ball offer acceptances have returned. If you really want that Irvine home or Irvine condo, you need to make your offer stand out to the seller. Here are a few ideas…
1). Waiving contingencies
The California residential purchase agreement (RPA) has three main contingencies built into it – inspections, appraisal and loan approval. What these contingencies allow is for a buyer to cancel a deal without the losing their earnest money deposit if something under these areas do not meet their needs; a couple of examples are not receiving loan approval or uncovering a variety of issues during the home inspection. These contingencies are not required parts of the contract and, if removed from the get-go, can speed up the escrow process and make the seller more confident that the deal will actually close rather than you cancelling. While this could make you stand out to the seller, we strongly suggest that you make sure these items SHOULD be removed; if you are utilizing a home loan, we would not recommend removing this contingency until you receive a loan approval. You want to stand out, but don’t do it at the cost of leaving yourself unprotected in the transaction.
2. All-cash offer
The majority of potential home buyers are unable to make all-cash offers, particularly in a city like Irvine where real estate is not the cheapest. If you have the means to pay all cash for your new home, you will immediately move to the front of the line with the seller. All-cash transactions are the easiest to close as elements like loan approval and appraisal are not issues; sellers love all-cash because these deals can close quick.
3. Offer cover letter
Chances are that when you submit your offer, you will not have met the sellers – you will simply be pieces of paper with an offered sales price and transaction terms. We are all human and more often than not can relate to things in other people’s lives. If you want to add a personal touch to your offer and tell your story, submit a cover letter with your offer. Explain to the seller why you want their home and what owning it would do for you; it may sound cheesy, but reaching a seller’s soft spot could make the difference between them choosing your offer or someone else’s.