3 tips to help your buyers write real estate offers

As a buyer’s agent, you, of course, represent the best interests of your clients. You understand that a seller is trying to make as much of a profit as possible in a home sale transaction. However, you want to be able to help your client get the most out of the investment as possible, as well. One of the things you will help your buyers do is to write real estate offers.

Keep in mind that a seller might get several offers at the same time. When this happens, it comes down to quality. A seller will pass right over an offer that is poorly written. On the other hand, a well-written offer will not only attract a seller’s attention, but it might also win a bidding war, too!

Real estate offers should not be vague

The first tip to helping buyers write a quality real estate offer is to instruct them to answer all questions in detail. A seller doesn’t want to have to hunt a buyer down to seek clarification about important information. For instance, if answering whether there are any contingencies to the offer, it would not be a good idea for a buyer to write “not at this time.“ It is a yes or no question.

The same goes for questions about moving day. If a buyer has been asked when they require the sellers to be out of the house, it is much too vague to answer, “whenever it is convenient for them.” If a buyer wants to be in the house by the last day of the month, then make sure that he or she states exactly that in the written offer.

Address the seller by name in the real estate offer

Always advise your buyers to begin their offer letter with the seller’s actual name, instead of using a template or form letter. Especially if there is a bid war going on, this is not the time for “To Whom It May Concern.” It establishes a personal connection when a buyer uses a seller’s name in the salutation of the offer letter.

Demonstrate interest in the home

If a seller has multiple offers to review, it is likely that one that resonates in a particular way will be bumped to the top of the stack. A buyer must convince the seller not only that the offer price is right but also that the house is perfect for him or her.

Tell your client to highlight his or her favorite features about the house in question. Let the seller know how the house is going to fit the buyer’s needs. If the buyer knows that the seller has made some special upgrades, it wouldn’t hurt to include a few compliments about it in the offer letter.

Make sure your buyers grant you the power to negotiate

Once your client has put a real estate offer in writing, ask for permission to negotiate on his or her behalf. Your skills might mean the difference between losing and winning a bid war. Of course, you would discuss any suggested changes with your client before agreeing to them with the seller. However, it is beneficial to your clients if they give you leeway to negotiate a deal.


Boost your memory skills to help with studying

Regardless how long you have been away from a classroom, when you enroll in real estate school, studying will once again become part of your regular routine. Not only will you be learning many new concepts throughout the required 90 hours of a classes, you'll also need to be as prepared as possible to take the South Carolina real estate exam, when the time comes. Boosting memory skills will help you succeed.

Participating in several brain exercises, which you will learn more about in this post. Neurological experts agree that maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated and getting adequate sleep keeps your brain healthy, as well, which can help improve memory skills.

Ability to recall is one of the most important memory skills

When you take your real estate exam, you'll need to be able to recall certain information that you learned during classes, including various vocabulary terms, as well as state laws and other relevant data. To improve recall ability, try writing out lists and testing yourself on how many items you can remember after setting the list aside for a period of time.

Try not to use a calculator to do math

When you become a licensed real estate agent, a calculator will be an integral tool that you use on a daily basis. However, to boost memory skills and improve overall brain health, try doing mental math as often as you can, meaning calculate basic mathematical operations in your mind, instead of using a calculator.

Learning a foreign language can help boost memory skills

When you learn to speak a foreign language, you have to remember lots of new words and phrases, including how to pronounce them correctly, spell them and use them in a sentence. The process that your brain goes through to learn a new language is an effective way to boost memory skills. The act of remembering words and language rules that you have learned can come in handy when you're trying to remember words and concepts you have learned in real estate class.

Word and number games are always healthy for the brain

From childhood through your elder years, any time you engage in word or number games, you are boosting your brain health. Studies show that regularly participating in such games is beneficial to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer's.

When you're selling homes in South Carolina, you will deal with terminology in contracts, as well as financial formulas and numbers, in the usual course of a work day. Consider trying some of these ideas to boost memory skills and keep your brain as healthy as can be.

Guiding a home seller through multiple offers

If you're working as a listing agent in South Carolina, you may encounter situations where your client has received multiple offers on his or her home. If a house is in a prime location, has been well-maintained, staged well for showings, has a lot of curb appeal, etc., it's possible to get three, four or more offers in a short amount of time. Guiding a home seller through such circumstances is a service you can provide as a quality sales agent.

Of course, every home seller must ultimately choose which offer to accept. However, many clients will ask their listing agents for recommendations. This post shares information that may help a client determine which offer best fits his or her needs and ultimate home-selling goals. 

Dollar amount matters, but it's not the only factor

A seller might be tempted to merely review multiple home offers from a financial standpoint only, then choose the highest amount. However, your client might have additional needs or goals in selling that should be factored in to determine which offer is best in his or her specific circumstances. 

For instance, perhaps your client needs to be able to stay in the house for two or three weeks. On one hand, there might be a full price offer, but the buyer says the seller must vacate the property right away. Another offer might be a little under list price, but the buyer is willing to allow the seller up to 30 days more in the home. While one of the offers generates a higher profit, the other is a better fit for the seller's needs.

Contingencies are another key issue with multiple homes

It's not uncommon for buyers to attach contingencies to an offer. This basically means that they are willing to purchase the home in question if something is done, or not done. For instance, a buyer might place an offer that is contingent upon mortgage loan approval. Someone might offer a list price contingent upon the home appraisal price.

If there are multiple offers on a home with various contingencies, a seller must determine which offer best protects his or her interests. A seller who needs to go to closing quickly, for example, might want to accept an offer from a buyer who is pre-approved for a loan rather than one with a contingency for approval.

Do any of the offers contain an escalation clause?

An escalation clause is a real estate tool that is useful to buyers who are locked in a bid war. When an offer includes such a clause, it means that the buyer is willing to raise his or her offer above the highest offer in the bid war, up to a specific amount.

By providing experienced guidance and strong support to your clients as a listing agent, you not only increase their chances for securing the best deal possible but also the likelihood that your satisfied clients will offer referrals to their friends and family, which can help your business grow.

Houses with these issues are hard to sell

No matter how great your sales skills are, there are certain issues that tend to make a house that is for sale get stuck on the market for a long time. The good news is that, even in some of the worst cases, there may be solutions available. At least, there might be a way to compensate for a particular problem, so that while it might not be totally resolved, a prospective buyer will make an offer anyway.

As a South Carolina real estate agent, you will encounter challenges. It's just the way it goes. Some houses are easier to sell than others. You will no doubt have plenty of opportunities to put your creative thinking and negotiation skills to good use, especially if any of the issues mentioned in this post are relevant to one of your clients.

A bad location makes a house hard to sell

When a house goes on the market, its location can either be a great selling point or serious downfall. Buyers are always on the lookout for homes in prime locations. If you are helping a client sell a home that is near a factory or major commercial enterprise, such as an airport, you might have your work cut out to find a buyer.

If a house is too close to a highway or has a poor view because of nearby buildings or power lines or a landfill, etc., location is not going to be a highlighted feature. What can you do to compensate for a bad location when selling a house? A low price might be one way to attract a buyer's attention.

Houses where crimes have occurred are also hard to sell

If you're showing a house, a buyer might want to know why it's for sale. It is not uncommon for buyers to inquire about the history of a home, as well. If a violent death or other crime occurred in a particular home, your client might hesitate to make an offer. Many people believe that there is negative energy that lingers on in a place where a serious crime has been committed.

Good luck selling a home with water damage

The best thing you can recommend to a client who is selling a house that contains water damage is to have repairs done before listing the home on the market. If a seller isn't willing to invest in repairs, then he or she might consider selling the property 'as is,' or, at least, lowering the price or offering to cover expenses for repairs.

Contingencies, negotiations and innovative thinking

If a house is hard to sell, consider the reason and determine whether it is a resolvable issue. When there is a solution available, try to have the problem solved before a house is listed on the market. If it is already for sale, try to think of ways that the seller and buyer might compromise. Remember, ''hard to sell'' doesn't necessarily mean ''impossible.''

Walkthrough issues that can ruin your real estate deal

Whether you are working as a listing agent or are representing a buyer, either way, you want the final walkthrough to go well when your goal is to help a client sell or buy a home. This can be an exciting yet stressful time for everyone involved, including you, the sales agent. An offer has been made and accepted, but don't make the mistake of assuming it's going to be all smooth sailing from there because success hinges on how well the house fares in the final real estate walkthrough.

South Carolina law doesn't require a walkthrough. It isn't wise to skip it, though. A walkthrough can occur up to 48 hours before closing, any time, after the home inspection and usually after the seller has vacated the home. It provides the buyer an opportunity to make sure the house is in the same or better condition as when the initial offer was made. It is also a chance to ensure that any repairs, upgrades or changes agreed upon as a result of the home inspection have been implemented.

Walkthrough problems that no real estate agent want to deal with

As a real estate agent, your whole deal can come crashing down if problems arise during the final walkthrough on a home. The following list includes some of the most common issues that have brought more than a few real estate transactions to a screeching halt:

  • The seller moved out and left a bunch of stuff behind.
  • The seller moved out and took items that were supposed to convey.
  • Agreed-upon changes or repairs were not made.
  • The utilities have been shut off.
  • Property damage occurred when the sellers moved their belongings out.
  • Issues have arisen that didn't exist when the offer was made or inspection occurred, such as a burst water pipe or electrical or plumbing problems.

If any of these issues are encountered during a walkthrough, a buyer has several options available, one of which is to walk away from the whole deal.

Walk away, renegotiate or delay closing

A buyer is free to walk away if the seller has not fulfilled the terms of the purchase agreement. If that happens, everyone loses out. The seller still has a house to sell, the buyer has to start a new home search, and you, the agent (no matter which client you represent) lose the deal.

A buyer can renegotiate, perhaps lowering the offer or asking the seller to cover expenses for repairs. Finally, the buyer may insist that terms of agreement be met and refuse to close until proof of fulfillment is demonstrated, which should include written documentation. As listing agent, it's to your benefit to make sure your client has adhered to all terms. As a buyer's rep, it's a good idea to brush up on your own negotiation skill,  so you'll be ready to help resolve walkthrough problems without losing the sale.  

5 ways to market your real estate business

While you're working your way through real estate school, you might have days where you feel stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted. Self-discipline and perseverance will help you achieve your goals. Once you pass your test and obtain your sales license, the months of studying that you endured will be a distant memory. You'll be ready for new and exciting things, like marketing your own real estate business

By implementing effective marketing strategies, you can go from being the new business in town to a profitable sales agent who stands out from your competitors. Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all business tool. You might try a particular strategy and determine that it is not working for you, and that's fine. The idea is to try various strategies and develop the ones that produce the best results.

Market your real estate business with an optimized website

As you begin to build your own business in real estate sales, remember that a vast number of buyers use the internet to help them shop for homes. This means that launching and optimizing a website can be an effective marketing tool. If you learn how to incorporate keywords to boost SEO for your local region and target audience, and you create a user-friendly site that has relevant, informative and updated content, you might be delighted to find that your website is generating leads and sales on a regular basis.

Answer real estate questions with quality listings

Think of all the things you would want to know if you were in the market for a new home and were searching listings online. As a real estate agent, your marketing strategy should include quality listings; meaning, listings that are well-written and have professional looking photographs. If you simply list a house and price, with little additional information, buyers are likely to scroll right past it.

On the other hand, if you write quality listings, you can establish your real estate business as a go-to for information on the homes for sale in your area. If you do not feel qualified to write your own listings, you can hire copywriters to do it for you.

Share testimonials on social media

Nothing can help expand your real estate business quite like the testimonies of satisfied clients. If you plan to create social media pages to market your business, which most successful sales agents do, make sure you share positive feedback and testimonies from past clients.

Never post anyone's picture online without their permission. If you have buyers who are willing, you can publish short videos or stories that feature happy home buyers who were satisfied with your service. Quality social media posts and videos can take on a life of their own when people start sharing them with others. There are many more creative and unique ways to market your real estate business, and hopefully these ideas will help you get started. Don’t be afraid to try new strategies and explore outside-the-box ideas and soon you’ll be among the top agents in your area.


Online versus in-person classes for real estate school

If you've been thinking about studying to earn your license to sell homes in South Carolina, you will have numerous decisions to make. You might have an overall time frame in mind and a completion date for when you hope to accomplish your goal. Another decision you'll make is which real estate school you want to enroll in to meet the pre-license education requirements the state has set, which you must do before you can be eligible to take the license exam.

Once you choose a real estate school, you will no doubt have various scheduling options and may have to choose between taking classes online or in person. There are benefits and downsides to both styles of learning. The key is to determine which one best fits your needs, budget, learning style and lifestyle.

Online classes for real estate school enable self-paced learning

When you went to school as a child, you may have known some classmates who learned at a much faster pace than others. In such situations, students who learn quickly often feel bored if they are forced to wait for the rest of the class to catch up and are not allowed to move ahead independently. On the contrary, students who learn at a slower pace often struggle to keep up, which makes it difficult for them to master certain concepts.

Advanced technology brought new styles of learning to the education industry, including online classes. One of the greatest benefits of online classes is the ability they provide to learn at one's own pace. If you consider yourself a slower-paced learner, online sessions often include the ability to pause a video, rewind and repeat, as necessary. For those who learn at a faster pace, online learning often enables students to move ahead at will.

In-person classes are beneficial for networking

If you attend a real estate school that offers in-person classes, you'll have many opportunities to network with fellow future sales agents, as well as people who are currently working in the industry as agents or brokers. Another benefit of learning in person is that a classroom usually has less distractions than an online learning environment.

If you take classes online, you might be at home with family members moving in and out of a room. Or if you try to spend your online class time at a library, there may be patrons coming and going or other things or people distracting your attention. If you attend class in person, however, there are other students and an instructor, and the ambience of the room is conducive to education.

Explore both options and choose what works best for you

Sometimes, it's possible to fulfill real state school obligations with a sort of hybrid schedule, taking some classes in person and others online. If you choose the latter, you will need a quality headphone set and other equipment, such as a laptop computer. For classes in person, there can be transportation issues involved. There's no right or wrong choice for meeting the state's requirements to become eligible for your real estate license exam. Explore all options available, and execute a plan that fits your needs and goals.

How to determine quality in a real estate school

Perhaps you have been wanting to change careers and have been contemplating joining the ranks of South Carolina agents who sell homes. It is an exciting goal that you may be able to achieve in six months of less. There will be an initial financial investment, of course, because you must pay tuition at a real estate school. You must also fulfill all state requirements for licensing, which includes completing a certain amount of education hours.

Once you have made the decision to go to real estate school, you then have to choose one and enroll. If you have no background in real estate, how are you supposed to be able to tell a good school from a bad one? In a perfect world, all schools would be top quality and you could take your pick. In reality, if you enroll in a school that is providing a substandard quality education, it could delay or impede your ability to get your license.

Go online to research the real estate school you have in mind

The internet is a valuable research tool that you can use to learn more about a real estate school before enrolling. Try to find a school's state rank. Also seek reviews from former students who have completed the program, or if they haven't finished, find out what their reasons were for dropping the program.

What is the passing rate at the real estate school?

If you are considering enrolling in a particular real estate school, it's a good idea to inquire about its pass rate, meaning what percentage of students go on to complete the program and pass their state exam. If a school's passing rate is low, it suggests that the quality of education being provided there is also low or that there isn't a strong support network in place for students.

Make sure that instructors are licensed brokers or agents

Always check into the professional backgrounds of the faculty who are currently serving the real estate school you have in mind for enrollment. You have the greatest chances of succeeding when your instructors have both curriculum knowledge as well as real-world experience in the real estate industry.

A school whose faculty members are themselves licensed brokers or sales agents is able to offer more than required information for licensing. Such instructors can mentor students and help them lay the groundwork for becoming profitable sales agents after they pass the state exam.

Scheduling flexibility is also a plus

You might want to avoid enrolling in a school whose scheduling options are too limited or rigid. A lot of people go to real estate school while working full-time jobs or raising a family. They need flexibility when scheduling classes. You might prefer taking online classes versus in person classes. Finding a school that fits your scheduling needs can increase your ability to accomplish your real estate goals.