Orange County

Expert offers tips to get home offers accepted in hot real estate market

ORLANDO, Fla. — For months, we’ve heard stories of struggles to buy a home, including buyers being outbid by cash offers tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price.

But experts say there are some things you can do to make your offer stand out.


Newlyweds Anne Marie and Cameron McMullen spent months living in a house-hunting nightmare.

The housing supply is low and demand is high, making for one of the most competitive real estate markets Central Florida has ever seen.

The couple said they put in an offer $50,000 over the asking price and were still turned down.

READ: Number of homes for sale around Orlando hits historic low

Paul Magrone has been a home inspector for almost 20 years. He also authored “The Business of Home Inspection.” He says in this market, the key to getting an offer accepted is communication.

“It might be the same information, but each person from an empathy standpoint comes from a different place,” Magrone said.

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His advice is to find out what the buyer’s needs are and be willing to negotiate to accommodate them. Be flexible and on time. As the seller may need a quick close, or they may need extra time to find a new place to live, offer a three-day inspection period instead of a week.

“There are certain things inspectors find that you would not find reasonable for a seller to fix in a market like this,” he said.

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In the McMullens’ case, they waived their inspection altogether. It worked. They beat out 49 other offers.

Cash is king, but an experienced realtor should be able to think outside the box to navigate a deal and make your offer stand out in a crowd.

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There have also been stories of buyers writing warm letters to tug at a seller’s heartstrings to get a deal through. In some instances, those could infringe on the Fair Housing Act.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray,

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.