It’s not a matter of getting the utilities “on.” It’s a matter of doing one’s due diligence about the structure, defects, termites, foundation, roof, mechanical, etc.
The professional investors do not have time to inspect houses they are making offers on until the banks accepts an offer. Investors might make 100 offers before they get an accepted deal. If the bank accepts their offer, then it’s time to look at it, and the negotiations begin.
Some banks require the buyer to sign off on the house and claim they’ve seen it and done their due diligence before the offer is made. That’s not enforceable. This is their attempt to weed out the true negotiators, since the bank is SO bad at it.
However, making cash offers with no contingencies, at the price you actually need to make money…bypasses the “satisfaction in negotiations quotient” (my term), that will necessarily make sure you never get an offer accepted that is profitable.
Banks need to work for a deal, just like you do. Without the “work” part, there’ll be a deal in a parallel universe, but not yours.
Meantime, you’re competing with amateurs who’ll overpay. So, to play the game, you offer the “amateur” price," and after acceptance of the offer, then you start negotiating. Also, you’ve eliminated the amateur from competition on the deal itself.
Banks are operated by functionaries who get bonuses for being “good boys and girls,” not because they’re good negotiators. So focus on the negotiations after getting an offer accepted, and then drill down on the price. That’s what I meant to say earlier…in not so many words.
Of course, every bank negotiates a little differently, but the common denominator is that the bank first wants to know you can perform, and that if they come to an agreement, there will be a closing. So prove you can perform, then move in for the kill.
That all said, getting in touch with the gatekeepers at smaller banks is a better approach. They know what the bank will do, can negotiate fantastic terms in some cases, or otherwise, if they like you, and they know you’re not wasting their time, will make you rich.
The way I described at the top, is what you have to do if you can’t get to know the ones that make and shake things at the banks… FWIW