You might think that all sellers would want to close as quickly as possible, but that isn’t always the case. “A flexible closing date is often very important to sellers when they receive an offer,” says Chris Muellenbach, a real estate agent in Milwaukee.
I found that to be true when my husband and I purchased our house in 2012. We found the perfect house with the perfect closet space (joy!); there was a competing offer (horror!); and we had to boost our offer or risk missing out (crippling anxiety!). With advice from our real estate agent, we sweetened our offer by:
- Increasing the offer by a couple thousand dollars
- Offering more earnest money to show how serious we were
- Allowing the sellers to set any closing date in the next 120 days, as long as we had 30 days’ notice
Why #3? The house had only been on the market one week. We knew the sellers were moving up to a bigger house to accommodate their growing family, and they needed time to find their next home. That gave us an edge over move-up buyers who may have been trying to juggle their own buy-and-sell situations.
It turned out that the sellers needed that extra time. Our offer was accepted May 3, and our closing date wasn’t until July 27, but the house was worth the wait.