How to get the Edge in a Bidding War

As the housing market begins its recovery, buyers are quickly discovering that where they had no competition before, they are now running into other enthusiastic buyers who are interested in the same property as you. When you’re in real estate multiple offers can be a blessing or curse, depending on which side of the transaction you find yourself on.

As a homeowner, multiple bids mean you’re doing something right! The supply of good condition homes is limited and demand is strong. No need to do anything here except wait for your closing.

For buyers, a multiple bid situation can be a nightmare. The good news is that just by knowing a few tricks of the trade; it can make the difference between walking away and getting the home of your dreams at a fair price.

Make your offer as attractive as possible to the Seller

As with most things in life, you get what you want when you’re more prepared than the other guy. Get preapproved for your loan, not just prequalified. Attach a copy of the preapproval letter to your offer. Make as large of a down payment as you can and provide documentation of the source of the down payment and be prepared to provide the proof of those funds.

Don’t wave your inspection or financing contingency. It may make your offer slightly more attractive, but isn’t worth the risks that come along with those things. You can however shorten the time period for them giving confidence to the seller you can act quickly and are serious.

If the equity in your current home is the source of your down payment, make your offer contingent on obtaining financing but not the sale of your home. If your home doesn’t sell, you won’t have to be on the hook for the down payment and you’ll be able to get out of the contract under the financial contingency. However, if you want the home, this strategy may not meet your goal unless you are also in a strong seller’s market and can actually sell your home.

Why was my offer rejected?

Sellers, nor agents, are required to tell you why your offer was rejected. As a courtesy, some agents will give you an indication as to why the offer was rejected (for example not enough money, questions on financing) but without giving specific details on why they accepted another offer. Until a transaction is closed, it’s important that the seller and their agent protect this information in case it comes back on the market.

Can I submit an offer on a house that’s under contract?

You can, but you’re much better off moving onto another home that you find interesting – especially if there are already backup offers on the table. Even if your offer is better than the one that’s already been accepted, the sellers may have a difficult time getting out of escrow. A lot of this has to do with how savvy their agent is in negotiation & understanding of contracts.

How do I know my offer was even considered?

It is the law in Georgia that, the agent must present all written offers to the seller. Failure to do so is a severe ethics violation and can cost an agent their real estate license. So you can feel fairly confident that the seller has had the offer presented. If, however, you suspect that your offer has not being presented to the seller, you are allowed to request a written statement acknowledging your offer.

Can I introduce myself to the seller and make an offer in person?

It is generally advised to avoid knocking on the seller’s door to make your own offer. Intrusive buyers will often do more damage than good. There is a reason that real estate agents are involved in a real estate transaction. We are here to protect all parties and act as the intermediaries in the interest of our clients.

Unlike buyers & sellers that typically are involved in a real estate transaction once every 6 years, we do 60-75 transactions a year. So we know the laws, the best ways to protect our clients’ interests and we are expert negotiators. We can help you win that bidding war in no time!

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