Bidding wars have become all too common in today’s real estate market. Even if you act fast and offer the asking price, there’s still a high chance you’ll get beat to the punch in one way or another

But don’t fret. Bidding wars don’t necessarily mean there’s no chance you’ll find a house … it just means you’ll need to get creative.

Are you looking to buy a home this busy summer season? Want to make sure your offer stands out from the pack? Try these pro tips to catch the seller’s eyes:

  • Make it personal. Include a personalized letter with your offer, telling the seller exactly what you love about their home and why you want it. If you’ve had hardships on your route to homeownership, include those, too. It can hurt to play up the sympathy!
  • Offer more earnest money. A big earnest money deposit shows you’re serious about buying the home, and it gives the seller confidence that you’re not going to back out and leave them high and dry. Most buyers are only going to offer a few hundred bucks. Up the ante with $1,000, and you can bet your offer will draw attention.
  • Get a fast closing date. Try to find a mortgage lender that can offer you a quick turnaround on closing. Most sellers want the fastest sale possible, so a closing date that’s a week or more earlier than other offers? That could be a huge selling point.
  • Make it easy. Long, drawn-out negotiations aren’t fun for anyone, and no seller wants to cover tons of closing costs. Keep the haggling to a minimum and remove some of the hurdles for the seller, and they’ll be significantly more likely to choose your offer over another.
  • Keep the repairs to the important stuff. While you could forgo a home inspection, that’s usually not in your best interest if you want to ensure you’re getting a safe home that’s a wise financial investment. Instead of skipping it altogether, simply keep your inspection short and sweet. Get an inspector out ASAP once you’ve got a contract, and only ask the seller to tend to really important items – things that threaten the structure or safety of the home. The minor stuff can be dealt with using a handyman or some good DIY skills upon move-in.
  • Offer slightly over asking price. While you could offer $20K over asking price, the home likely isn’t going to appraise for that much, leaving you on the hook for thousands more than your lender will loan you. Rather than overextend yourself, offer just slightly over the asking price instead. This shows you’re serious about getting the home and that you’re willing to pay extra – within reason -- to make it happen.

Your agent is a key ally when dealing with a bidding war. They can negotiate on your behalf, help you draft a personal letter to the seller and make a creative offer that really catches the seller’s eye. Want a great agent who can help you stand out in today’s market? Contact The Claus Team today.