www.LynchburgRealEstateBrowser.com Volume 10 Number 5 – Say you saw it in The Real Estate Browser of Lynchburg — 39 “Sometimes we find with older homes that sellers are basing their prices on the new homes being built 2 miles away,” Middleton says. “Basically, they want to price their 1990s house as a brand-new house, but the appraiser might not always agree.” The key to finding a good balance comes down to the comparative market analysis, or comps. Your Realtor should run a market analysis on similar, recently sold homes in the area before you come up with an offer price. If you land on a price that looks good to the seller and matches up with the appraiser’s valu- ation, you’ll have an easier time getting your offer accepted and getting approved for that VA loan. 4. Be conservative with demands There are lots of myths about the VA loan process—that it takes a long time (not true) or that the seller won’t make a profit (not true again!). Being a VA buyer shouldn’t keep sellers from accepting your offer, but still aim to make your offer shine—especially if you’re buying in a competitive market and multiple offers are common. That means you might want to dial it back with the demands. Take, for example, closing costs. If you don’t have the funds you need to cover the closing costs yourself, it makes sense to ask the seller to foot some of the bill. But you stand a better chance of getting your offer accepted if you present it carefully. “You have to put yourself in the seller’s shoes a bit. If you just say, ‘Hey, I want you to cover $6,000 in closing costs just because you’ve been on the market for 71 days,’ it may not go so well,” he explains. “Rather than offer $173,000 for the house and then ask for $6,000 in closings costs, absorb some of those costs into the asking price. Offer $179,000 instead.” With this approach, you’re effectively financing your closing costs—with inter- est—over 15 or 30 years. But do keep in mind the home will need to appraise for that higher amount. 5. Make yourself stand out You should also find creative ways to make yourself stand out from the other buyers. “We often ask our buyers to write a ‘love let- ter’ to the seller,” Racz says. “For instance, what they like about the house, why they are mov- ing, how long they have been looking, etc.” It could mean the difference to sentimen- tal sellers who want to see their home go to someone who will love it as they did. Even if it doesn’t, you know you pulled out all the stops to make a solid offer that not only will be accepted by the seller, but will also get your VA loan approved. Angela Colley writes about real estate and all things renting and moving for realtor.com. Her work has appeared in outlets including TheStreet, MSN, and Yahoo. Middleton recommends trying to roll those closing costs into the total cost of the home. Click on the Listing for photo tours and additional information for each property.