You’ve found the house you love. But, apparently, so have other buyers — and it’s the same house. When several buyers want to compete for the same property, how do sellers choose among offers? What can you do to increase your chances of getting the home? Freshome asked several experts to share the secrets of winning a bidding war.
Get to know the listing agent
We’re not recommending that you schmooze — although it might help. “Befriending the listing agent is a great idea,” Tracey Hampson at
Tory Keith, President of Natick, MA-based real estate firm
Choose your own agent carefully
It’s important to get to know the seller’s agent, but make sure you know your agent as well. “An agent’s reputation can and does have an effect on the offer process,” says April Macowicz, Broker Associate and Team Owner at
Make the seller’s life easier
If you can give the seller more time or reduce their level of stress, you might give yourself an edge. “One way to make your offer stand out is by either removing the inspection contingency or reducing the timelines on those,” Macowicz says. “If you can get away with having a 5-day inspection period, that looks a lot better to the seller than a 17-day inspection period.”
This is why it’s important to meet with the seller’s agent to find out what the seller cares about. “There is nothing worse than writing a full price cash offer to close in 30 days when the seller needs 90 days to move out,” says
And letting the seller set the moving date is another way to gain an advantage. “Put in the contract that you will accommodate the seller’s closing/moving date,” advises Sissy Lappin, Founder of
Money is important
Of course, a higher offer is usually the first thing that buyers consider. And Jon Tetrault, a team director at
“Make sure you run the numbers to be sure that the neighborhood supports the price you’re offering, but the higher the offer, the better your chances,” Tetrault says. “I always suggest buyers go slightly above an even number.” So, if the home is listed at $300,000 and his buyers want to offer $302,000, Tetrault suggests offering $302,250. “That will give them a leg up in the event that someone else offers $302,000,” Tetrault says.
Another tip is to make the offer as clean as possible, Hampson says. “Don’t ask for any money towards closing costs, etc.”
Attach a short note
Lappin also recommends including a short note on what you love about the home — like the