Yes, you really still can beat out an all-cash offer
By Virginia K. Smith |September 10, 2014 - 11:59AM
All-cash buying still seems to be at an all-time high in NYC, but for those of us who consider saving up for the down payment a battle in its own right, all hope is not lost: with the right moves, you can still win a bidding war, even with the prospect of a mortgage in tow.
Bid higher. Sure, you don't have as much money as the other guy right now, but if you bid a higher asking price, even if it comes with a mortgage, you'll get the attention of most sellers.
Appeal to the seller. Whether it's working with their needs on the timing (which could mean either a lightning-fast move-in or a long wait) or making a case for how much you love the apartment, appealing to the seller on a personal level can get you farther than you might think.
Think high-risk, high-reward. This option isn't for everyone, but if you go non-contingent—meaning that if your financing falls through, you're willing to cede your deposit to the seller—it's a surefire way to show that you're serious, and make yourself a shoo-in for the apartment. Alternately, if you're not comfortable with losing the entire deposit, you could come to an agreement in which the seller gets a smaller, but still substantial, cash consolation prize if you have to back out of the offer.
Pay more up front. If you're able, offer to come up with more than the minimum down payment—say, taking out a mortgage for only 50 percent of the sale price, rather than 80 percent—meaning that you'd still be able to get financing even if your appraisal comes in low.
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