Buyer represented :: SOLD at $404,000

My buyer was most unusual! She wanted to buy an investment rental house in an area that would be within striking distance of two NE Portland high schools. It needed to have solid bones for a future remodel, but also be perfectly livable in the immediate future. She had her renters all lined up, summer term was about to get going and we needed it NOW! Very quickly we found the perfect house but there were multiple offers - so many that the selling agent put together a spreadsheet to easily see all the offers and their relative values. In this situation there are a few tricks I have up my sleeve. The first and easiest is when you have an all-cash buyer as these contracts are rarely contingent on an appraisal and can usually close very quickly. But when there are more than one or two cash buyers then you need something better. You can ask your seller to put up more earnest money - normally 2% of the offering purchase price, in this instance would have been just over $8,000. We made it $20,000. Earnest money is your signal of intent. A low percentage means the buyer hasn't got much skin in the game and can (relatively) easily be walked away from. My third trick in this case was to make the earnest money non-refundable right out of the gate. It's not something I would normally advocate for, especially $20,000!! But in this case my buyer, an architect (again!) knew exactly what they were looking at in terms of how well built and maintained the house was and crucially she was fearless. We wrote an offer $40,000 over the asking price and said we could close in two weeks. We won, and not because we were the highest offer, but we were so clean and so fast and that $20,000 right out of the gate enabled the seller to move quickly and without any doubt that the deal would close.