Commitment: the difference in an accepted offer and the one in second place.

By Sunday morning dozens of people will decide to buy a house. Around noon they’ll join the dozens who decided to do the same. They will cross paths coming and going to open house after open house. As April turns into May, and June becomes July, most of these multiple dozens will have made offers and come in fourth, third, even second at least once. Few will become owners of their first choice home. Is it necessary to try and fail, and learn, and stress before finally being the lucky chosen-one in this ultra competitive real estate market? No, it is not. Learn from those who tried and failed, Avoid attending the school of hard knocks yourself. Become committed.

Competitive markets separate those who decide to buy from those who are committed to own. Deciding to buy is easy because it requires no investment of time, money, or energy. Deciding to buy can begin with an idea and get no further than searching Zillow on a smart phone at work and talking house shopping with co-workers. Committing to own is an entirely different mindset. The first one to reach commitment will own the home everyone else decides to buy.

You can tell a committed buyer from one who has only decided to buy by looking at their Offer. The reluctance of the decider shows through in the contingencies. Types of contingencies and the volume of contingencies. Contingencies are “maybes”. They are “if, and, or, and buts”. Escape clauses. Side door, back door, and front doors left open to walk away before the commitment is made.

The committed person’s offer isn’t exactly the same as “I will buy your house at this price, and on this date”, but it’s close. Those 12 words are what an Offer to Purchase might have once been. The Offer we use in Wisconsin small print crammed onto 9 pages of 8 x 11 paper. The 12 words are included, more or less, and if, and, or, and but make up the 8.99 pages. The person committed to own hands in an offer with very few check boxes, more than a typical number of lines stricken, and no extra words. Clean and simple and appealing to the seller shows commitment.

This is a good day to prepare yourself to be committed on Sunday. Let the others decide to buy. Today you commit to own.

Good luck future home owners!


  1. Stella Castellino says:

    Hi Tom, Nice article. I enjoy your blog!

    Stella Castellino 703-593-5196


    1. Stella: thank you for following! How is your business? I hope these perspectives help you help your clients.

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