As the inventory remains low in Maine and the interest rates remain on the higher end, many homebuyers continue the struggle of finding themselves the right home that they can afford.

The general conception with most buyers is that the highest offer gets the home. Let’s be honest, that does play a big role. However, there are other things to consider.

As a realtor, I always like to check in with the seller agent prior to submitting an offer for my buyers and ask, "Besides the highest offer, is there anything else important to your seller?"

Depending on the seller’s needs, there may be more you can do to sweeten your offer. Sometimes they need to move as soon as possible, which would in result require them to close on their home as soon as possible. Financing buyers that are making an offer and choose to have inspections on the home should typically plan on approximately six weeks from the time they go under contract to the time they close.

This period allows for the inspections, appraisal, mortgage lender underwriters, and the title company to perform their due diligence. Under these circumstances, can you close in four or five weeks instead? It’s possible, but things come up that can push things back, and a signed extension to the contract may be needed.

Strategies such as paying cash, waiving inspections (not recommended but an option), and being able to obtain an appraisal waiver from your lender are all ways to expedite the process, as well as make your offer more appealing to the seller and increase your chances of getting the home.

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Also, a seller may need to find suitable housing before they can sell. Having that information may lead you to offer them a grace period after the closing date before they need to move out.

In closing, yes, the highest offer usually plays a big role, but there are several other things you can do to sweeten that purchase and sale, especially if you’re capped out at a certain budget.

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