Today Realtor Pat Goldstein and I  will be sharing with you  five strategies that are key to making your home purchase offer win over several other competitive would-be buyers.    You will hear some stories of home buyers who have succeeded in getting their offer accepted against several odds.

What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage?  Make your plan. Let’s work your plan.  If the deal works for today, do it today.    Connect with me for your home purchase  or refinance mortgage.   I look forward to hearing your plans. 

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To your success,

Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS 757308

Sierra Pacific Mortgage

46 Timber Creek

Cordova, TN 38018

(901) 482-0354



Good morning, Memphis!  Welcome to our internet listeners and podcast listeners across the 50 states! You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer.  You can connect with me at   Our general topic is Top 5 Ways To Get Your Home Purchase Offer Accepted In A Competitive Real Estate Market. . Subscribe to get Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe podcasts with show notes at  Call us while we’re live today August 8, 2020 at (901) 535-9732.


 Back in the co-host chair we have Pat Goldstein, Realtor with Crye-Leike serving West Tennessee and North Mississippi.  Pat is known in many circles as “The Gold Standard in Real Estate.”   Pat you are known for your real estate negotiating skills.  You are seeing a lot of action with your homebuyer and home seller clients.  Take a moment and tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do for your real estate clients.  (Pat has about 1 minute or so to intro herself and talk about what she does for her customers.)

(Jo) Pat we all know people who have achieved success at a very high level—and some of those people have experienced success purchasing their first or fortieth house.  Whether in their career or home buying activities we see similar habits being followed.

It reminds me of a quote by the self-help master, Anthony Robbins who said, “…People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something differently than everyone else does.”  Here’s some methods that have proven successful for homebuyers who will go that one extra mile…

 Strategy#1  Carve out an afternoon or evening to review your bank statements, your credit card statements and your paystubs to determine what your TRUE comfort level will be on how much you can pay monthly for a home mortgage note.  How much can you comfortably pay for move-in costs to buy your home?   Draw a line in the sand and stick to your plan not to over spend.

 I remember a divorced, single mother we will call Tisha Trainor. For a long time since the divorce was final, Tisha struggled with trying provide the emotional support and quality life her young children deserved. But Tisha was only one person.   Top priority for her was to own her own home in a safe, comfortable neighborhood so her children could have a pet and play in the back yard. 

Tisha searched and made offers to purchase homes during her few free moments over the course of a long summer, but every time, someone already had a contract on the house she

liked or someone beat her offer during a bidding war. Her realtor advised that she stay at the search and not be tempted to offer more than she could comfortably pay for a home.

Tisha took her realtor’s advice and took one late evening to take a hard look at her budget and finances to draw a line in the sand on how high she would go on a payment and the absolute highest she would pay for a down payment.

She pulled together her paystubs and other income documents and her bank statements and asked the mortgage officer to review everything and give her a strong letter of prequalification stating that all of her credit and income and asset documentation had been reviewed and approved.

Feeling exhausted and discouraged, Tisha made yet another offer on a house she really liked.  She had to remind herself not to get too excited while waiting to hear if the seller would accept her offer.  Her offer was nothing spectacular since offering over the listing price would make it a challenge to afford the payment.  The surprise call came. The seller had accepted Tish’s offer.

At closing Tish and the agent and I were sitting on one side of the table. The seller just happened to be seated opposite us finishing his signatures on his part of the closing transaction. He looked up at Tish and reluctantly said, “By the way, your offer was NOT the highest offer I got for my house.   There were higher offers, but YOUR offer was the surest offer.”  The seller went on to say, “My wife and I need to relocate out of the area really fast.  We just wanted to make sure our house sold today with no delays.”

I wonder how many times this happens between buyers and sellers?  What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage?  MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, LET’S DO IT TODAY.   Connect with me at Email me at  or just call me at (901) 482-0354. 

(Jo) Pat Goldstein, let’s talk about the another strategy when making an offer on a home that can increase the likelihood that a seller will accept THAT offer over others.  

STRATEGY #2  Remove as many contingencies to buying the home as possible.  See if you can get preapproved for a mortgage without having to sell or pay off your home—even if you plan to sell and pay off the mortgage on your old home shortly after closing.   (Call Jo Garner (901) 482-0354 and look for creative strategies for finding funds and combinations of loan programs that can assist you in accomplishing this. 

Be flexible on the possession date of the home.   

Don’t ask the seller to pay any of your closing costs or prepaid taxes and insurance.   Call Jo Garner to explore other loan programs or combination of programs to assist you with paying the move-in costs without asking the seller to do it.  This way your offer to buy their home is more attractive to the seller because the seller is netting more profit.

Waiving the home inspection   (Risky  to do this, but if you have some fix it up skills or have friends or family who can fix stuff, this might be an option for you.)

Waiving appraisal contingency—Very risky  but will make your offer stronger.   Remember if the home you are buying comes in  with an appraisal value LESS than the amount you offered, you will have to pay the difference between the low value.  

You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer.  What do YOU want to accomplish with your mortgage? Make your plan. Let’s work your plan if the deal works for you today, let’s do it today.   When we come back Pat Goldstein will be sharing more strategies to help you win your bid for the house you love. See you back in just a moment. 


2nd segment after 9:15 break: Our Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is brought to you  by notable Memphis historian, Jimmy Ogle. Twelve of his Memphis History lectures entitled Making Memphis – Storytelling by Jimmy Ogle may be viewed by Googling “JIMMY OGLE PINK PALACE”.  View at .  The Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is  sponsored by John and Jennifer Lawhon of Lawhon Landscape (901) 754-7474 the Lawhon’s can help you plan your landscaping if you have a BIG, BIG project or a smaller project or you can do the big project in phases . The Lawhons are giving away a $25 gift card to the first person with the correct trivia answer.  If you know the answer to our trivia question, call us at 901 535 WREC 901 535-9732.

Garner # 183 * 08/08/20

East Buntyn Neighborhood

Question:  My neighborhood is named for one of the early land owners in Shelby County, and my area is the geographical center of the Memphis city limits.  Who am I?

Hint:  I am a veteran of the War of 1812.

Hint:  The first railroad to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mississippi is my southern border. 

Hint:  I am one of the cornerstone neighborhoods surrounding the University of Memphis campus.

Final Hint: An old nickname for my area was “Buttermilk Town”.

Answer:  East Buntyn!  Geraldus Buntyn was a veteran of the War of 1812 and owned a huge tract of land between the now Norfolk Southern Railroad, Highland Street, Central Avenue and the Belt Line Railroad.  There were some many dairy cows in this area in the 1800s that it was commonly known as “Buttermilk Town”.  Geraldus Buntyn would not consent to allowing the Memphis & Charleston Railroad (the first to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mississippi River in 1857) to run through his property, so that is why the rail line takes a slight curve at Highland Street. 

Ellsworth Street (formerly Peachtree Street) was named for the U.S. Census Bureau employee that took the 1930 census in which Memphis was deemed to have over 250,000 citizens.  Near the intersection of Southern and Goodwyn is said to be the geographical center of the present day Memphis.  The Tennessean train used to make a stop at Buntyn Station when departing Memphis on eastward route.  Fire Station # 18 on Southern is the oldest operating MFD firehouse in Memphis, open in 1930.  The neighborhood was formally annexed into Memphis in 1929.

Bonus: Jimmy Ogle’s four distinct tours of Elmwood Cemetery that were scheduled for Saturday, April 25 are postponed until Autumn. For more information, call 901-774-3212 or go to

Jimmy Ogle has retired from walking tours in Memphis.  Twelve of his Memphis History lectures from the Pink Palace entitled Making Memphis – Storytelling by Jimmy Ogle, and now more than ten hours Downtown Walking Tours are FREE on the internet at . . . You Tube Jimmy Ogle.  
                                                   View for more info!



  1. When covering the top 5 ways to get your home purchase offer accepted in a competitive market, talk more about when and how to remove contingencies from the offer.
  2. Give us an example of a home buyer who successfully used this tactic of removing contingencies to get the seller to accept their offer over others.
  3. How does it work when you increase the price you will offer to pay for a house in exchange for the seller paying that difference toward your costs?   When does that work? When does it NOT work?
  4. Give us an example of when changing the price or other part of the structure of the offer has made the difference in your buyer getting their offer accepted.
  5. What are some other tips you can offer buyers to help them get ahead of their competition?
  6. What are some tips you have to offer sellers in this competitive market?
  7. ____________________________________________________


  1. Strategy #1 covered in the first part of the show with Trisha Trainor’s story
  • Talk about Strategy # 3 to put buyers in a more competitive advantage when they are making an offer to purchase a home—get a stronger lender letter than most people get

Carmen and Casey’s  story-Buyers’ Big Dreams, Big Challenges—Then Start Thinking Like the Seller

Carmen and Casey met at college on an exchange student trip across the border. It didn’t take long to discover the paths they were plotting in life were headed in the same direction. Both Carmen and Casey wanted to adventure travel on bicycles to see the world before settling down into their careers. They wanted to own their own home and felt it was important to keep a healthy amount in an emergency fund.

Both Carmen and Casey loved traveling the continents, but wanted their home    sweet  home to be in their home town in a familiar neighborhood.  Little did they know the difficulties they were about to encounter.  

The houses in the neighborhood where they wanted to live cost them more per month than their budget allowed and would eat up their nest egg of savings. There were multiple offers going in on some of the homes so sellers were not wanting to pay closing costs for them.

They connected with a trusted realtor friend who led them to the neighborhood where they wanted to live.  Their realtor connected them with an experienced loan officer and that is how Carmen and Casey got prequalified for an FHA low down payment loan with down payment assistance from the city for about $10,000.  The extra money down using this fund kept the payments closer to budget and it would costs only about $1,600 to get into the home. The down payment assistance covered the closing costs and prepaid property taxes and homeowners insurance so they did not have to ask the sellers to pay this for them.

But Carmen and Casey were not out of the woods yet. It would take making some smart moves to get around the road blocks of discouragement ahead to find a way to own their own home. 

Score Two on keeping the nest egg of savings safe.

Carmen and Casey both had full-time jobs and after work looked at over 15 houses and made offers on four of them. There were at times six or more offers from other people wanting to buy the same house.  Each time Carmen and Casey got beaten out by someone else’s better home purchase offer. Carmen’s discouragment was clear, saying  resignedly, “I’m starting to think we just need to wait about buying a house.  We can never compete with these other offers. Other people just have more money to spend than us.”   What strategy could they use now?

With help from their realtor, Casey begin to imagine, “What would appeal to the seller? Sellers want a good price for their home, but that is not the only priority.  Sellers want a buyer who is financially strong enough to close without delay. Sellers don’t want to have to pay a lot of the buyer’s cost. Sellers want to feel good about their part of the transaction.

STRATEGY #3 Carmen and Casey stopped by the mortgage office with all of their income supporting documents and bank statements.  The loan officer, at Carmen and Casey’s request reviewed these documents and wrote a short letter to them stating that the credit report, the income and asset documents had been reviewed and the underwriting software was currently showing the loan to be a strong prequalification.  

The realtor scanned this letter with the next home purchase offer to the seller’s agent.  The realtor also attached a personal letter from Carmen and Casey complimenting the seller on their home and gave the reasons they would like to live there and start their family there in that home.   The seller accepted their offer, even though their offer was not for the highest price.

Score three— offer on chosen home accepted.

The realtor suggested that Carmen and Casey hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home before they had to pay the mortgage company’s appraiser to determine a value.  The home inspector’s report showed quite a bit of rotted wood that needed replacing and some mold in the utility room close to some leaky plumbing pipes.  Seller said he wasn’t making enough money on the house to include fixing these things.

The realtor and the loan officer and Carmen and Casey put together a counter offer with a price about $2,000 higher but requiring that the seller complete these repairs and have a certified professional clean up the mold in the utility room.  Quid pro Quo—the seller accepted the counter offer, the loan was processed and it was now time for Carmen and Casey to go to closing and get the keys to their very own house. Score four—house of their own in the neighborhood where they want to live.  

4.Treasure hunting for down payment money—works for when you need a BACK UP PLAN Strategy # 4

  1.        Digging for treasure when you need funds to close.

First let’s dispel one big gorilla-sized myth- The minimum required down     payment to purchase a home where you will live is NOT 20% down.  You can actually buy your home with 3.5% or even zero down.  Call me at (901) 482-0354 or connect at and let’s look at some of YOUR mortgage financing options.

To find your pot of gold to use for down payment funds, here is some places to sink your spade.

Three areas to search are the borrower’s forgotten assets, gifts from family or employers and move-in costs paid by third parties. Sinking a shovel into these three areas has turned up pay dirt in the past. Here is a treasure hunting map detailing some clues.

Gift From Family:   Gifts can come from family members or employers.  The amount of the donation varies according to different loan programs.  The donor will be required to document the source of his funds and that the money is a gift to the donee not requiring repayment. If the family member giving the money does not want to cash in a certificate of deposit or stock fund, he can borrow against the asset to give to the donee.

Borrower’s Forgotten Assets:  Whole life insurance policies or annuities may have a cash value that can be borrowed. Many times the borrower does not realize the insurance she purchased years ago has a cash value that can be borrowed to pay the move-in costs.

Loans secured on certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, and durable assets such as cars can be used as acceptable sources of funds to close as long as the loan is secured on an asset owned by the borrower. The payment must be added into the debt-to-income ratios for qualifying purposes

IRAs, 401(k)s and Retirement Funds.  There can be heavy financial penalties for pulling money from these sources.  However, many companies allow the homebuyer to borrow against these assets with no penalty.  The repayment terms may be calculated in the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.

Sale or Cash Out Refinance of Existing Real Estate Property can generate needed funds to close on another property. Lenders will require the HUD 1 Settlement Statement or sufficient proof of the source of funds.

Tax Refunds can provide a surprising source of closing funds.

Move-In Costs Paid By Third Parties:  Sellers are as motivated to sell a house as the buyer is to purchase.  Sellers can pay up to 3% of the sales price toward the buyer’s costs if the borrower is getting a conventional loan above 90% loan-to-value. If the loan-to-value is 90%, the seller is allowed to pay costs up to 6% of the sales price or value whichever is less.

On certain loans, the sellers are allowed to pay more and even loan the borrower the equity on a second mortgage. Investor loans allow the sellers to pay no more than 2% no matter how much money the investor pays down.

FHA loans allow the seller to pay up to 6% of the price toward the buyer’s closing costs and prepaid taxes and insurance.

Lenders are motivated to close the transaction and sometimes can bump up the interest rate slightly in order to use “premium pricing” to pay the borrower’s prepaid taxes and insurance or some of the closing costs. In most cases the rate is increased .25% and the difference in the monthly payment is minimal.

Different municipalities have programs that provide down payment assistance to borrowers. Locally to the Memphis metro area, some of the well known programs are City of Memphis Down Payment Assistance, Shelby County Down Payment Assistance, and more.  If you are joining us on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe from outside the Memphis, TN area, you can also check with Rob Chrane at Down Payment Resource, supported by Housing Finance Agencies across the country, for assistance programs in YOUR city and state.

For the down payment assistance grants and loans, the borrower is required to meet a minimum or maximum annual income guideline and sometimes are required to be first time homebuyers.  First time homebuyers are defined as buyers who have not owned real estate in the last 2 to 3 years.

REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (Pat Goldstein  shares a real estate related money-saving or time-saving tip.  Pat shares Strategy #5—Make a list of what you absolutely NEED from a home and a list of wants in the order of priority.  This kind of laser focus helps the realtor find just the right house for you.   The PRIORITY LIST also helps you arrange your bargaining chips for more savvy negotiating ): Jo Garner shares tip for homeowners taking advantage of refinancing to lower mortgage rate, shorten term, or freeing up cash per month.  We are experiencing the lowest mortgage rates in our known history.    Even if you have explored refinancing your home a year ago or more—IT IS TIME TO EXPLORE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES AGAIN.       If you looked at buying a more expensive house a year or two ago but the payment was a little too high, CHECK AGAIN TODAY.   Call me at (901) 482-0354


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Pinterest (when in the middle of a negotiating on your home) “Lord give me patience, because if you give me strength, I’m going to need bail money.”

Anonymous “I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not sure.”



  1. Mark McLaurine, HVAC Strategist and Repairman with Refrigeration Unlimited in Memphis, TN 
  2. Leah Anne Morse, All Things New in Collierville, TN  Helping people and families organize to downsize, organize for transitions and estate sales.
  3. Troy and Lynn McDonald, insurance agents with Erin McDonald Insurance Agency (901) 849-7101

Transitional Music: “Winner Takes All” by ABBA;  “I’m Winning” by Santana; “Signed, Sealed Delivered” Stevie Wonder;  “Memphis” by Johnny Rivers for the Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest


The “Gold Standard In Real Estate”

Crye-Leike Realtors

For buying or selling residential real estate

For West TN and North Mississippi

(901) 606-2000


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR MORTGAGE?    (901) 482 0354  twitter @jogarner  NMLS# 757308 (currently working with Sierra Pacific Mortgage, Inc)

“Whatever YOUR  personal priorities are, my job is to help you get the mortgage terms that will give you bragging rights when you talk about it and help you score on  hitting your goals .”

As a mortgage loan officer, my job is to help you get to the  benefits you want from your financing terms.  What is most important to you? I can help you find the financing terms that will help you get to what you want.   What is your comfort level on a house payment? How much are you comfortable paying down,? What type of financing do you need to get the house you want to buy or refinance?

 Different clients have different priorities in life—some are buying their first home with very little down payment funds.  Some are recovering from medical challenges, divorces or preparing to send children to college and some are embarking on a long term goal of buying properties to build rental income.”

 Jo Garner is a mortgage officer with extensive knowledge in tailoring mortgages to her customers who are refinancing or purchasing homes all over the country.  She offers conventional, FHA, VA or other loan programs for refinancing and purchases. 

Jo can help you look at rent vs buy, when it makes sense to refinance, how to get the best deal on your home  purchase financing.  

Jo Garner  has been in the real estate/financing business for over 25 years.  She got her start in Portland, Maine where she first began her real estate career. She received her real estate education from the University of Southern Maine  and was personally mentored in San Diego, California  by Robert G. Allen, author of Nothing Down, Creating Wealth and The Challenge. 

On moving back to West Tennessee in 1987, she went into business buying and selling discounted owner-financed notes secured on real estate.  In 1990 Jo went to work for a residential mortgage company and has been a mortgage loan officer for over 25 years.  Her goal is to offer excellent, affordable service to her customers, tailoring the loan programs to the specific needs of her clients.  

In addition to her work in the mortgage field, Jo Garner  is the primary sponsor and founder of Talk Shoppe in Memphis.  Jo Garner also host the radio show Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe airing on News Radio AM 600 WREC and iHeart Radio with podcasts and show notes published on