Winning Buyer Strategies

Winning Strategies for Buyers In a Bidding War

"Multiple offers" occur either when a seller receives more than one purchase offer at the same time or receives another offer before a counter offer is presented to the first buyer. This has occurred fairly often since 2012 and has created a frustrating environment for well-qualified buyers who repeatedly are out-bid in their attempts to buy a home.

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What Is a Bidding War?

A “Bidding War” refers to the home buyer situation in which there are multiple high bid offers on a home. This can be a very stressful time as a buyer, not knowing what might happen or the number of ways you might overpay. How can you avoid overpaying? Particularly for a money-pit of a home.

Edlen Team Strategies to Multiple Offer Situations

The following suggestions are based on my having participated in hundreds of multiple-offer negotiations and observing the various dynamics that can occur.

  • Ideally, being an “all-cash” buyer with the cash available or, at a minimum, being fully approved for financing before writing an offer, will usually give you the advantage.
  • Know the market inventory well by attending open houses and becoming familiar with what has recently actually sold.
  • Have a family or personal photo to be presented with your offer, as well as an introductory letter which your agent can help you prepare.
  • Be as rational and disciplined as you can, willing to either step up or pull back depending on the circumstances.
  • Take the long view. Remember that you may be living in this neighborhood for many years. The house can often be changed in various ways but the location cannot.
  • Ask your agent to counsel you on contract details that may improve your position at little cost or risk to you. A seasoned agent will know ways to make your offer stand out over others.
  • Be prepared to make decisions in a short amount of time, as timing your offer and any responses to the seller is essential to success.
  • Select an agent who has successfully guided many other buyers in multiple-offer situations.

Although the highest and best offer usually succeeds, it is not uncommon in this market that a seller will receive more than one strong offer. The seller will at times ultimately select the buyer based upon personal or other non-financial reasons rather than one who offers a higher price.

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