Agent

How can I improve my real estate purchase offer?

Sweet deals include paying all of seller's transfer taxes

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Few failed endeavors can match the frustration of losing out in a multiple-offer competition. But, almost as disappointing is making the only offer–and a strong one–and having the seller outright reject it. Here are a few tips on how to sweeten your offer without jeopardizing your financial security. A strategy that has been effective for some successful home buyers is to offer to pick up the cost of a fee that is normally paid for by the seller. For example, in some areas sellers pay for title insurance. This can amount to a few thousand dollars on an expensive property. If you pay for this instead of the seller, it increases the seller's net proceeds. Some communities, such as Oakland, Piedmont and Berkeley in California, have hefty transfer taxes. The Berkeley tax is 1.5 percent of the purchase price, which is customarily shared 50-50 by the buyer and seller. Recently, a Berkeley home buyer who was bidding in competition offered to pay for the entire tax. This increase...