Worried that a more active buyer will scoop up the home you want to buy? You’re right to be concerned, particularly in competitive areas.
Consider using an escalation clause, which permits you to increase your offer and, ideally, outbid any competitors to maximize your chances of receiving the home you desire.
Winning a Bidding War in Chicago in 2022
Fannie Mae predicts that housing prices in the United States will grow more slowly than they did in 2021, but still be robust by historical standards. So, what are the projections for Illinois in 2022? Based on CLN the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,948. In 2021, however, it’s anticipated to rise steadily within a narrower and lower range than in previous years (source). Over the next five years, home price appreciation in Illinois is projected to be between 2.0% and 7.9% per year, while it will range from 1.40% to 7.7% in the Chicago PMSA over the next five years.
By December 2022, house prices in Illinois are expected to be $261,561.In 2022, both Illinois and the Chicago metropolitan area are anticipated to have negative sales growth overall.. Annual sales growth in the state is expected to vary between -4.1 percent and 11.5 percent this year, with most months recording negative growth. The Illinois PMSA’s comparative range is -11.0 percent to -5.0 percent, with losses in all months. Excluding foreclosed sales from total sales results in a prediction of -6.8 to 9.6 percent growth for the Chicago PMSA’s regular sales.
What is a real estate escalation clause?
In a real estate contract, an escalation provision states that if the seller receives a better bid from another buyer, you, the buyer, will increase your offer.
Escalation clauses are not required in all offers.
“When the buyer and/or Realtor foresee many bids on a property, an escalation clause is employed,” Satre explains.
An escalation clause can assist you in getting the seller’s attention and staying in the game if other buyers are making extremely competitive bids.
“As a homebuyer, an escalation clause allows you to pursue a more flexible and forceful offer.” In this manner, you can make an offer while also specifying the maximum amount you’re ready to pay,” explains Michele Harrington, chief operating officer of First Team Real Estate in Irvine, California.
Let’s say you place an offer on the house for $530,000. According to Harrington, including an escalation provision in your contract as high as $545,000 will help you win a bidding battle and show the seller exactly how much you’re willing to spend.
The elements that make up an escalation clause
- Purchase price when new – This is the amount you offered on the house in your first bid.
- Your willingness to go above and beyond a competing offer might be expressed in monetary terms or as a percentage.
- The most you’re willing to pay is – This is the maximum price you’re ready to pay for a home.
Pizzolorusso suggests including the following phrase in your escalation clause:
- “Up to a sale price of $____, the buyer will pay $__ more than any other competing offer.”
- “Before contract completion, the seller will disclose verification of other competing bids to the buyer.”
- “The buyer’s formal receipt and approval of other competing offers are required to execute the offer.”
Example of an escalation clause
You can set the escalator to any amount you won’t – say the original offer is $500,000, but the buyer is ready. The realtor can include an escalation clause in the contract, requiring the buyer to pay up to $550,000.” $1,000 increments up to $550,000 over the highest competitive offer. If the rival bid is $540,000, the buyer will pay $541,000.
Putting it another way:
- $500,000 original price
- $1,000 is the amount you’re willing to go above and beyond a competing offer.
- $550,000 is the most you’re ready to offer.
Assume a competitive buyer makes a $510,000 offer. Based on your escalator, your request would rise to $511,000, $1,000 more than theirs. Then they raise their offer to $520,000, and another buyer counters with $525,000. Your new offer would be $526,000, $1,000 higher than the next highest competing offer.
This is simply one example of a thousand bucks. Your escalator may have $1,000 increments or a percentage. For instance, up to your maximum purchase price, you can boost your offer by 2% of the highest competitive bid.
An escalation clause must be phrased extremely carefully, according to Bruce Ailion, a real estate attorney in Atlanta, Ga., to lay out just how much you’re willing to spend.
In addition, “your escalation clause should oblige the seller to show you the competing offer,” he explains.
Depending on the rules in your state, the real estate agency/brokerage you choose, and other circumstances, additional text may be required.
When is an escalation clause required?
When a seller is anticipated to get multiple offers on a property, escalation clauses are frequently strongly advocated by agents or law representation.
Do sellers accept escalation clauses?
Many sellers accept escalation clauses since they indicate as many bids are being considered, resulting in a significant rise in the home’s selling price. However, when numerous offers for the same property arrive, too many escalation clauses might make things difficult, especially for the seller.
“When there are more than five bids, I usually advise my buying client to make their best possible offer with no escalation clause since this will impress the seller and assist them in finding the property they desire.
The advantages and disadvantages of real estate escalation clauses
Escalation clauses offer both benefits and drawbacks. Consider these examples:
Advantages of Real Estate Escalation Clauses
- A bidding war gives you a better chance of winning.
- You can avoid paying too much for a home. Your offer will only increase if another buyer submits a more significant bid.
- The escalation clause shows the seller that you’re serious about buying the house.
Disadvantages of real estate escalation clauses
If you win the house at your highest offer price, you will have less money available for remodeling and other home expenses.
- Multiple bids may cause assessment problems because rising offers may push the purchase price above the home’s actual market value.
- Because the vendor knows the highest amount you’re willing to pay, your negotiation capacity is harmed.
Will the seller simply increase their price to match your most excellent escalating offer?
Even if no other offers come in, the seller may just counter-offer at the top of your escalation amount. It is not against the law to do so. For this reason, escalation provisions should not be taken lightly. It’s also a good idea to submit your offer as your highest and best in many situations.
In many cases, escalation clauses are like showing your poker hand to the other player. So have a serious discussion with your agent about when an escalator is appropriate. The term “escalation clause” generally refers to a provision that allows you to increase the price of your home if there are more, and better, offers. It’s possible that your real estate professional can include such a clause in your escalation agreement.
Three ways to make an escalation clause work in your favor
If you’re in a market and expect to be in a bidding battle, here are some suggestions for using an escalator:
- Choose an increment that is comfortable for both you and the seller: The amount should be comfortable for you, but it must be enticing enough to pique the seller’s attention. “I usually advise my buyer clients to offer $1,000 more than the highest offer.” “I recommend spending $2,000 or more over the highest offer at higher price points,” Weber says.
- Choose a ceiling height that you will not regret: When it comes to homebuying, emotions can run high, and you may become so connected to a property that you’ll accept it at any cost. However, if you don’t think through the numbers properly beforehand, you may find financial trouble. “I tell my buyers to set a ‘no remorse’ number in advance – this is the price at which they won’t feel bad about missing out because it was pricier than they could afford,” Weber says.
- Include appraisal gap: “An appraisal gap is when you agree to cover any difference between the offer price and the appraised value,” says Harrington. “If the buyer is dependent on the financing and the home does not appraise for its full worth, a high offer can feel like a false promise.” In a fiercely competitive market with such limited inventory right now, offering an appraisal gap and an escalation clause is sometimes all it takes to win a bidding war.”
Weber advises adopting an escalation clause only if it contains this appraisal gap supplement if you’re selling a house.
Real estate FAQs have an escalation clause.
Is it a good idea to include an escalation clause?
An escalation clause can assist you in outbidding one or more competing purchasers and obtaining the home of your dreams. The highest price specified in your escalation clause can impact the seller’s choice. An escalation clause might also help you avoid spending too much on a home.
Is it a good idea to include an escalation clause?
Make sure you’re satisfied with and can afford the maximum possible amount you’re willing to pay, as specified in your escalation clause. Also, if the contract price is higher than the asking price, a multiple offer situation may result in an appraisal difficulty.
Is an escalation clause a guarantee that your offer will be accepted?
No. A different offer could be appealing for reasons other than price. Despite your more excellent request, another bidder could offer to close in 7 days with no inspections, which would surpass your 30-day closing with numerous reviews.
How should a real estate escalation clause be written?
If you want to include an escalation clause in your offer, your real estate agent or attorney will draft it. Even when there are numerous bids on a home, escalation clauses are not required.