When multiple buyers submit an offer to purchase the same property, the real estate industry calls this a “multiple offer situation.” Creative, I know. It feels like almost all of my clients are competing against other offers these days. And, that’s also the case across most of our market, because we’re in a very strong seller’s market. That means there are way more people searching for homes right now than there are houses for sale… so there are often multiple buyers who want the same property.
Since I know it’s not just my clients who are facing multiple offer situations right now, I thought I’d share some of my tips for making the winning offer. (I’ll share as much as I can publicly, but some things have to be reserved for the clients I’m actually representing!)
Note: These tips are not universal. There are definitely scenarios when some of these won’t apply. Your agent is the best person to guide you in your specific situation.
Tip # 1: Hire an awesome Realtor. The agent who is advising you as you submit your offer can make or break your chances of getting your dream home… especially when it’s also somebody else’s dream home.
Tip #2: Hire an awesome mortgage lender. When you submit your offer, the seller’s agent is going to want to know who your mortgage lender is. They may even want to talk to them. The reason is that your mortgage lender plays a huge role in getting the deal to closing, and helping the agents smooth over any obstacles that come up in the process. You want a mortgage lender who has a good reputation in the industry, who will be responsive to your agent and the seller’s agent, and who will make the sellers feel confident about you when their agent calls and asks them about your financing. (Your Realtor can help you find some mortgage lenders to consider.)
Tip #3: Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Not pre-qualified, pre-approved. This means that your lender has already reviewed your financials and pulled your credit report, and has made a commitment to give you this loan (as long as a few conditions are met). If you submit an offer without a Pre-Approval Letter from your mortgage lender, your offer will not be taken as seriously as a competing offer that does include a Pre-Approval Letter.
Tip #4: When you’re searching online and think you’ve found “the one”, get an appointment to see the property quickly. Don’t wait more than a few days… the house might already be sold by then. When you do go and see the property, make sure you take notes, so that you can ask the sellers any questions you have before you submit your offer. This will help you and your agent write the offer correctly. You don’t want any mistakes in that contract.
Tip #5: Have your Realtor perform a CMA (comparative market analysis). The CMA is how your agent finds the true market value of a property. This may come out to be the same as the asking price for the property (known as the list price), or it may be above or below the list price. You will want to think about both of these numbers when you decide how much money you will offer for the property. Your Realtor’s advice about your pricing strategy will be crucial here.
Tip #6: Write a “clean offer”. That means an offer that is simple, straightforward, and doesn’t have anything fancy or complicated going on. Minimize your contingencies as much as you are comfortable. If you come off as picky or demanding in your offer, that tells the sellers that you might also be picky and demanding during the rest of the closing process… and that’s a red flag.
Tip #7: Assemble your offer correctly. This one might be common sense, but it is important. The contract, addendums, disclosures, and finance information should be organized and in an order that makes sense. If the seller’s agent can’t easily understand your offer, it’s not going to make you look good. Make it even easier for them by having your agent highlight the important terms of your offer in an easy-to-read email summary.
Tip #8: Make sure your Realtor establishes a good relationship with the seller’s agent. Poor communication or seeming difficult to work with can kill an offer. That’s because the seller and their agent will see this as a hint of what will come during the “under contract” period, and be less confident that this deal will get to closing. Your agent should be professional and helpful in their interactions with the other agent. Don’t hire someone who is going to act like they’ve never done this before (not that you would do this anyway!)
Subscribe to our weekly emails for more helpful home buying info!
Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions, or are thinking about starting your home search soon. Thanks for reading!