Buying!The Dennis Difference June 13, 2021


Presenting the most competitive offer in today’s market can be frustrating and can make you feel like you’re in the 5th round of a boxing match! As we all know, “cash is king”, so Cash offers are generally going to be dominantly accepted over Conventional and VA offers.  To overcome this daunting task, we’ve enlisted the advice of one of our top experts, Nicole Parker, to get her input on how to present a competitive offer and get your buyers’ offers accepted!

Nicole utilizes 5 different techniques in order to land the knockout and make sure that her offers not only stand out, but get accepted.  Let’s dig in!


Ask the lender if your buyer can go through a TBD approval, meaning that the home address is “To Be Determined”.  This process allows the lender to go a step further in the pre-approval process by putting the buyer through the initial underwriting process. This way your buyer is already approved for the loan, pending conditions to be met such as appraisal and inspections. Once the appraisal is completed the buyer can be submitted back to underwriting to obtain a “clear to close”, cutting the approval process down to close within 2-3 weeks.

If the lender can’t do a TBD Loan Approval, they may be willing to write a letter to potential sellers explaining the lendability of your buyer. This additional reassurance can be helpful to hear for a seller, putting them at ease to know the deal will not fall through due to a financing issue.


On the contract you can give your buyer up to 15 days to have inspections completed and do their due diligence before being “locked in”. During that time frame the buyer can back out of the contract for any reason, which makes sellers nervous. If you can present an offer with a smaller inspection period window, such as 5-7 days, that is less time for your buyer to back out and puts a seller’s mind at ease.


Instead of the usual $1,000 deposit, have your buyer deposit a larger amount into Escrow.  Nicole recommends $2,500-$5,000 depending on the list price of the property. This shows the seller that your buyer has more stability as far as cash flow, and proves the buyer is serious about doing what it takes to move forward with the purchase of their property. These funds are held in Escrow by the Title Company and are applied towards the purchase price at closing anyways. So, while it’s really the same out of pocket to the buyer, having a larger Escrow deposit gives the seller more piece of mind.


If your buyer is doing a VA or USDA loan, they may not have additional cash to put down, but suggesting to them that putting any additional cash down is a good idea.  This will make their offer more appealing because it shows that the buyer isn’t strapped financially and is able to make things work, especially if there is a problem with the appraisal, repairs with a roof, or something else. This proves to the seller that there is room for negotiating and they aren’t going to be left having to pay out of pocket for repairs or drop the price due to an appraisal issue to make the deal work. A little “wiggle room” is always more appealing to a seller.


In a more “normal” market paying over appraised value out of pocket is not advised. However, right now while things are still climbing it may be necessary to advise your buyer to pay out of pocket should the home not appraise for the contracted price.

Nicole says that she has written contracts stating that the buyer will pay up to XXX amount out of pocket to meet the appraised value, so that the seller doesn’t have to drop the price to get the deal to go through. For example, if the contract price on the home is $275,000 and the appraisal comes back at $270,000, the buyer would bring cash to make up the difference.

Having said that, Nicole says that she does not advise going over $5,000 but that using this technique does help in having a leg up on the competition. If the home appraises at value, it is a non-issue, but definitely reassures the seller that if that problem arises, they won’t lose money by having to drop the list price.

We think these techniques are extremely smart and will assist in getting your offers accepted!  A special “thank you” to Nicole Parker for sharing her knowledge and expertise on this subject. Nicole is located in our Hernando Beach office and is available if you would like to discuss these topics further.

At Dennis Realty we genuinely believe in educating our agents and our clients so if you have questions, we would love to hear from you. It’s part of what we call “The Dennis Difference” and we invite you to come experience it!