Sunday, September 29, 2013 / by William Culp
How-To: Win Your Bidding War
When entering a bidding war, you need to put your best foot forward. With multiple offers to consider, the seller needs to see that you're serious and ready to act fast. Below are a few tips to help you knock out the competition.
Be prepared. While it might seem smart to lay your offer on the table right away, don't do so unless you're fully prepared, pre-approved for a loan, and have all of your paperwork and finances in order. Otherwise, the seller won't take you seriously and will pass your offer over for someone who has completed their homework.
Be quick. This may seem counterintuitive to being prepared, but it's important to act fast when you see a home you like, or it will go to another bidder. This is why it's important to get your finances in order before you even begin searching. That way, you can put an offer in right away when you find a good fit.
Don't overbid. Offering more than the home is listed for may seem like a way to get a leg up on the competition, but overbidding and exceeding the home's appraised value can decrease your chances of a loan--and the seller (or their agent) knows that. If you overbid, be sure you can afford the excess cost flat out.
Don't underbid. In a bidding war, your offer needs to be just right. Just like the seller won't take you seriously if you overbid too much, they surely won't consider your lowball offer if they have offers from many other buyers. To find your “Goldilocks” price point, figure out the maximum you can afford, and then offer that.
Get under their emotional skin. Last year, everyone was back to writing “love letters” to the sellers of a home they were crazy about. Now, you can one-up everyone and really stand out from other offers by making a video of you and your family talking about why you love this home, and why you can see yourself in it. Does that third bedroom look perfect for your new baby? Then get her on the camera. Is that basement office perfect for running your business? Talk about that.
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