Winning The Bidding War

In this seller’s market, the phrases “multiple offers,” “bidding war,” and “sold in a week” (or less!) are often heard. This has created a lot of frustration for buyers who want desperately to buy a home, but can’t seem to get their offers accepted. But in every sale, someone buys the house, so what are these buyers doing to beat out the competition? The answer is not what you may think. The deal doesn’t always go to the one who is willing to pay the most (of course, that does help). Sometimes, it is much simpler than that. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you put your best bid forward.

Know the market. If the market is hot, you will not even get in the game with a low initial offer. If the listing says “the seller will review offers” in a few days, you can assume there will be multiple offers, and you probably will not even get a counter offer unless you come in at full-price or more.

Be prepared. Get your loan pre-approval letter (not just a pre-qualification) ready to go before you even look at the property. You should also accompany your offer with proof from the bank showing that you have the cash available to close the deal.

Show you are serious. Consider offering a large earnest money deposit and shortened contingency times. This shows the seller you are less likely to back out of escrow, and won’t tie up the house for a long period of time.

Get your house on the market. Most sellers do not like offers that are contingent upon selling a property, but if you absolutely must sell your home, you should at least have it on the market (and better yet, in escrow!) before you put in your offer.

Write a letter to the sellers. This sounds silly, but homeowners want to know their home will be loved by the next buyer as much as they loved it themselves. I have seen it happen many times where a seller chose a lower offer simply because they liked the buyers.

Hire the right Realtor®. Many buyers think they have a better chance of getting their offer accepted if they don’t use an agent, because the seller will pay less in commissions. This is not true. The seller’s contract states the full commission they will pay, regardless of whether the buyer has an agent. A strong agent with good negotiating and communicating skills can fight for you and find out details of what will make your offer stand out from the crowd.

Contact your local Realtor® for more information and advice.


Cynthia Elizondo
CalBRE #: 01924853

Halcyon Real Estate Services