2022 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog

10 Strategies to Get A Winning Offer on A House

Main Treasure Valley Life

You have found a house that is perfect for you and checks all of your boxes for amenities, needs, and location, and you are ready to make an offer. However, there are multiple offers already for that house. How do you make sure your offer stands out enough to get the seller's approval?

In a hot real estate market such as Boise, having multiple offers on a house or property is common. So here are 10 strategies you and your real estate agent can use to try to move your offer to the top of the list and get the winning bid.

Get pre-approved for a loan

This should always be your first step in the home buying process. Not only does it give you a price range to search in, but it also tells the seller that your offer is genuine and you are serious about buying their house. More information about the pre-approval process can be found here.

Don't try to undersell the listing price

Unless you are looking for homes in the $1 million+ range, trying to cut a deal on the listing price won't get you anywhere. The best strategy is to start your bid at the listing price and be prepared to offer more if a bidding war ensues. However, do not exceed your purchasing power. Paying too much can make you house-rich and cash-poor, which makes it difficult to pay for anything other than your house payment. If the bidding gets too high, be prepared to walk away. You'll find another house that will work for you.

Add an escalation addendum

Tying into the previous point, you can add an escalation addendum to your offer. This tells the seller that you are prepared to automatically top another offer by a set amount up to a certain price point (what you are able to pay as a maximum price). This again shows the seller how seriously to consider your offer. Automatically bidding more than the competition makes the seller more excited to make more money from the sale.

Waive contingencies

Contingencies must be met in order to close the deal on a house or property. These usually involve a home inspection or lending. Waiving certain or all contingencies allows an expedited closing window and poses less risk for the seller. Waiving all contingencies is common for all-cash offers, since there are fewer contingencies in general.

Increase earnest money

Earnest money is a good faith deposit, typically around 1-3% of the listing price, that is applied to the buyer’s closing costs. Earnest money is already a very strong indicator of buyer interest, because if the buyer walks away from the deal after it's accepted, the seller keeps the money. Putting more money toward a non-refundable deposit shows the seller how (literally) invested the buyer is in the property.

Release earnest money early

In addition to putting more earnest money down, release it to the seller prior to closing. The strongest offers will release it as soon as the house goes under contract. However, this strategy only makes the most sense if all contingencies are waived.

Increase the down payment

A higher down payment is an indicator of stronger financial security on the buyer’s part. This means they can buy more of the home outright, leading to fewer financing issues with the lender. If the buyer presents more money as a down payment, they have shown the lender that they have more money to use if a bidding war escalates.

Write a personal letter to accompany the offer

Sometimes the personal touch is what makes the difference. Use the letter to explain how the house perfectly fits your lifestyle and personal needs. Pay compliments to specific renovations, color schemes, or yard landscaping. Show the seller why you want to make their home yours.

Be flexible with the closing date and/or move out date

During the underwriting process, you can promise an earlier closing date, which means the seller gets their money faster and you get to move in sooner. It’s a win-win. Conversely, if the seller needs more time to move out and/or close on their new house, give them that time. A little patience goes a long way, both in the age of instant-gratification and the stressful process of buying a house, selling the old one, and moving. Showing a measure of flexibility can be the small detail that helps your offer stand out.

Pay in cash

While this option isn't available to most all home buyers (62% of buyers have a mortgage), paying in cash eliminates all third-party financing holdups. This alone makes for a more compelling offer. In addition, it shows the buyer that you can outbid the competition and potentially have money leftover.

Ready to start looking for a house? Give us a call today at 208.219.7683. Our team of local experts are ready to help you find your perfect home.

If you are a homeowner looking to sell, there has never been a more perfect time. Use our free tool to find out what your home is worth.

Posted by AndrewS at 7/24/2020 1:28:00 AM

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