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Dear Kathe,

How can we make our offer stronger so that, if there is more than one offer, the seller is more likely to choose us as their buyer?

One of the best ways to make your offer the strongest one a seller is considering is to make yourself a cash buyer. Before you stop reading, you do not have to have all cash to be a cash buyer. Read on…

If offers are even close to each other, a seller is always better off taking the cash buyer.  There is far less risk to a seller to take cash than to wait and see if a buyer can get a mortgage.  You may now be thinking, “well, that’s nice, but I don’t have cash, so I can’t compete.”  That is not necessarily the case.

It’s true that a cash buyer is most obviously defined as someone who has cash or liquid assets from which she can draw to buy a home.  But a cash buyer is also defined as a buyer who has a mortgage commitment and feels certain she can get that mortgage, thereby waiving her mortgage contingency.  Even if you don’t have a stash of cash, you can still be a cash buyer and compete to win for your desired home!

Becoming a cash buyer is a process by which you submit all of your mortgage documents in advance to your lender…bank statements, W2s, tax returns… Your lender will then review your information and issue a pre-approval letter to you.  To be a cash buyer, you simply need to get adequate assurances from your lender that he will definitely be able to get you the planned mortgage.  If you fell confident in his assurances, you can waive your mortgage contingency, and you thereby become a cash buyer.

Of course, you must be absolutely confident that you can get the mortgage.  If you need it and fail to get it, you will lose both your deposit monies and the home you desired.  But if you feel confident and waive your mortgage contingency, this may be the defining term that makes you the winner in a bidding war for the home you have been waiting for!  Feel free to give me a call and we can strategize about whether becoming a cash buyer is the best strategy for you!