Reverse offers are a new phenomenon on today’s real estate scene. The fact that the market is clearly a buyer’s market has caused sellers who need to sell their property to come up with some new ideas. One of these is the reverse offer. What is a reverse offer and how does one go about using this tactic?

Instead of the normal approach where a buyer looks the home over and makes an offer to the seller, with reverse offers it is the seller making the offer. There are actually a few approaches one can use. For sellers whose homes have been on the market for some time, the agent for that seller might go back to all the people who have looked at the home and make them an offer to buy the property. Another approach is to have the agent approach a particular potential buyer who has come back and looked at the property more than once and who has expressed interest in it.

Needless to say it does not make sense to reiterate the same offer all over again that the potential buyer was aware of when they looked over the property. Some other incentives need to be added to make the deal look more interesting. One way to do this is with a lower price, but other enticements can be used as well, such as paying the closing costs for the buyer, or perhaps buying down their mortgage rate a bit. Other tangible property could also be put into the deal, such as an automobile or a large screen TV, for example.

There are a few particulars to keep in mind when putting together this kind of a proposition.

In order to create some sense of urgency in the mind of the buyer, make the reverse offer valid for just a short period of time. One, two, or at most three days would be appropriate. Also, if the offer is being extended to more than one potential buyer, let everyone know that others will receive the same offer and that the person who gets the home will be the first one who responds.

Additionally, if you are going to approach a person who has come back and looked at the house more than once, ask you agent to contact the agent for the buyer and try to find out exactly what the issues were that kept that person from buying the home in the first place. If the buyer’s real reasons for hesitating can be determined, perhaps the problems can be addressed without to much work or too much cost.

Reverse offers can be a good approach for people who are very motivated to sell their property but who face a lot of competition. There might be other similar homes for sale in the neighborhood, or perhaps there are foreclosed properties on the market. Showing some creativity and eagerness to sell might be the thing that gives you an edge. Remember, foreclosures come with lower prices, but if a bank owns the property it will be sold “as is”, and any unseen problems will be the responsibility of the buyer later on.

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