3 Tips for Winning with an FHA Offer

We’ve seen a lot of posts in our Inland Empire Real Estate forum from FHA-qualified buyers expressing frustration about losing out to all-cash offers in multiple offer situations.

Our partner agent Tyson Robinson recently posted in our Inland Empire forums about his recent client’s successful offer with an FHA loan. Tyson was even able to get his clients money back for closing costs. Way to go Tyson! Every situation is different and your mileage may vary, but check out Tyson’s tips below for how to put your best foot forward with FHA financing.

Redfin Partner Agent’s Tips for Making a Successful FHA Offer

  • Be ready: In addition to knowing what you want and where you’re looking to live, you need to have all your ducks in a row. Make sure your pre-approval, proof of funds, earnest money deposit, and credit score documentation are finalized. Put them all together in case your agent needs them with the offer.
  • Be quick: That often means making an offer the very same day the home is listed. The goal is to move first and get get your offer accepted by the listing agent before other buyers have a chance to react.
  • Be strong up front: Your goal is to get your first offer accepted. If you want to be quick (see above) there’s no time for counters. So lead with your best offer for that home.

Is anyone else who’s had success with an FHA offer willing to share his/her tips and tricks?

Best of luck to all the FHA buyers out there!

  • Rudy Hartono

    I just want to add that if you want to be a winner, just go to listing agent directly.

  • Always Outbid

    Thank you for the info.

    Now, might I ask;

    Would you have any suggestions for those of us trying to use VA loans?

  • frank escobar

    when you go to the Listing agent directly you might be bringing too much money to the table… the Listing Agent’s first responsibility is to the Seller not the Buyer… it’s a win win for the listing agent because they get both ends of the commission but you have no one fighting JUST FOR YOU!.

  • Guy

    Well I tried with an agent fighting just for me and over a year later no house, maybe I don’t want to fight, I want a house so I am dumping the agent and I am going to go directly to the listing agents in the future

    • ME

      Yes, speaking from experience, We learned the HARD way you must ALWAYS go with the listing agent. We trusted our agent and “personal friend” to help us obtain the house of our dreams and kept loosing house after house etc. Finally fed up with her excuses, decided to go with a listing agent who shocked us from day one showing how an Agent is suppose to work. She not only found our CURRENT home but also put in the offer the very FIRST HOUR our home when on the market (The home had 9 offers the very first hour) So my advice, ALWAYS go with the listing agent. And YES we purchased our home thru FHA!!!

    • Franksws

      You are making a very wise decision. I hope you have ur home by now.

  • Seller

    After my recent experiences at a failed to close FHA loan,( 100+ days in escrow), I would not accept any offer from an FHA buyer with 3.5% down. I would take an offer for $10,000 less from a conventional buyer first

  • Emergencyemt1

    i hope i dnt have this problem.. we just won a bid on a house and we are financing using a fha loan. ill keep u guys posted. we only opened escrow today .. it took us less than a month to find a home and we got 1 offer accepted and 2 backup offers accepted . my agent has been really patient and she would take us out 2ce a week to look at homes. hopefully it will pay off for her

  • Michael Espiritu, Broker

    FHA is a great way to finance an owner-occupied purchase. For a buyer it is the least expensive way to purchase a home. You must have a stake in the purchase (your 3.5% of the purchase price) and you should have an additional 3.5% to pay for your closing costs.
    It is typical in the Inland Empire market to request that the seller pays the buyer's costs and fees not to exceed 3.5% of the purchase price. If my clients are able to pay their closing costs and they really love the house then I advise / suggest they do so. It makes a very clean offer to the seller.
    The seller, if asked to pay the buyer's costs, may counter that they will pay a portion, but not all, or any, of the costs. This is why it is so important to write your best offer because a seller can do one of three things:
    1. Accept the offer as written
    2. Reject the offer
    3. Counter the offer
    It is important to remember that a seller DOES NOT have to counter ANY offer and your agent should give sold comparable data w/in the last 90 days. This is what an appraiser does and if the comparable property sold 6 months ago the data is irrelevant.
    Being pre-qualified is a must for any offer to be submitted. If paying cash then proof of the funds to close escrow is needed.
    A higher deposit can also help an offer to be accepted as well providing FICO scores to show the listing agent that the buyer can obtain financing.
    VA loans are a terrific way to buy a home. They typically take 45 days because the appraisal process is slower. In closing I will say that just going to the listing agent is not the most efficient way to get an offer accepted. Who is the agent really working for? Dual agency is not allowed through Redfin so you can be sure that the agent has YOUR best interest at heart.
    Write the best, cleanest offer you can. Do not assume that the seller will counter your offer. Market value is determined by the location and condition. Use a local agent that knows the area and has actually closed deals in that area.
    Beware of the seller also representing you as a buyer.

  • Guest

    Sigh, we have to go FHA, and we've been house hunting since May of 2010 to no luck. We kept getting beat out by cash buyers or investors! So frustrating, especially when you finally find one you love, and it's in your price range. Then we tried an approved short sale, waited for 3 months, only to find out that the banks miscommunicated and foreclosed it anyway! Argh! That means we'll likely get beaten out again once it pops up. Now, we have an offer in on an REO we really love that's been on the market a while…hopefully this will finally become “our” home. It's been so dejecting to keep losing out, then not finding anything else we like, then once we do, we get beat out again. :(