Buyer Pro Tips: Strategies for Multiple Offers and Bidding Wars

Has this happened to you?

You see a new listing come up on Zillow or the mobile app of your choice. The price is well within your budget so you go to the weekend Open House which is jam packed. You strategize with your Agent and put in an offer above the asking price on Monday. On Tuesday you get a Seller Multiple Counter Offer asking for your "best and final". You increase your initial offer beyond your comfort zone but unfortunately don't get the deal which goes to someone else, maybe an all cash Buyer. The next week the same dance plays out until you are priced out of the neighborhood of your choice and have to start to look elsewhere. Well you are not alone (unless you are my client who of course this doesn't happen to).

Here's some tips you might want to try.

Go To The Broker's Open House

Your Agent should be previewing new listings that meet your search criteria at the weekly Broker Open Houses. Ask if you can tag along or meet you at the ones you are interested in. You'll be able to get a read on how other Realtors are responding and some may even have their clients, your competition with them.

Make a Very Strong Offer Before the Weekend

If it is your "forever" or "dream home" consider making a very strong offer before the weekend Open Houses even if the listing agent says offers aren't being reviewed until Monday or Tuesday. Does this work? Sometimes. It really depends on whether your offer is strong enough and the Seller is willing to roll the dice that they can get a better offer after a few days of showings. If you do this, you need to have an offer expiration of 12 PM Saturday which is before the opens. Can this backfire? Definitely.

Offer Great Terms

What are great terms? No appraisal contingency, no repairs or credits, or anything else that takes the uncertainty out of the equation for the seller or accommodates their needs such as a "free leaseback".

So what am I referring to specifically.

If you are putting down 25-30% or more or just have huge cash reserves you can waive the appraisal contingency. (Proceed with caution.) The lender still needs to get an appraisal for the purpose of the loan but you are saying that you will cover any shortfall out of your pocket. Please have your agent further clarify what I am referring to with this strategy or call me for an explanation.

Often the listing agent will counter that the Buyer will accept the property "as-is". You need to further stipulate that you will not ask for any credits or repairs.

Lastly, it is common for Sellers to ask for a "lease-back" after the close of escrow. Do one better and offer either all or part of the lease period (typically no longer than 60 days) for $1.