How to Win A Bidding War
Many people who would like to list their homes right now haven’t noticed that the real estate market’s been heating up. As a result buyers are suddenly finding themselves with very few homes to choose from and in (gasp!) bidding wars. It’s not exactly at the level of 2006 craziness (and that’s a good thing) but many buyers are finding themselves in a position where they are competing with other buyers for the best homes.
We went to Windermere Professional Partner’s top Realtors to find out what their best tips are for coming out on top in a bidding war:
- Write a letter. North Tacoma real estate agent Kelli Jo Hjalseth says that writing a letter to the sellers can have a strong effect. “An emotional letter to the sellers about much you love the house is a great way to show you will be a good steward of the home they made so many memories in,” she says. She stresses to be sincere in why you love the house, and you might find the sellers respond with no additional money out of your pocket.
- Pick up the tab. University Place real estate agent Amy Lowry says helping a seller with closing costs or excise fees is a small amount of money that can go a long way. “It can push a bid that is otherwise equal to become a winner,” she says. Picking up the seller’s half of title or escrow insurance can make a difference on their bottom line.
- Offer to “rent back” to the sellers. Tacoma real estate agent (and Instagram photographer extraordinaire) Anne Jones says that renting the home back to the sellers after closing can relieve the pressure on them to find their next home. “I think renting back is particularly important in our current market. So many sellers must get their place closed before they can purchase, and then inventory is insanely tight when they are ready to shop.” Giving the sellers some breathing room to find their next house could be a low cost way of sealing the deal.
- Have your earnest money ready. Windermere Professional Partners Owner and Managing Broker Kevin Mullin says that while early inspections, letters, and pre-approval for financing really help- in the end … “Money talks. Put you money down and show the sellers you’re ready to go. If a higher offer comes in, but still needs financing, you’ll be in a great position.”
And remember, there’s still a lot more houses that we expect to come onto the market as prices increase. Make the best offer you can for your situation and If you don’t win, you’ll know it wasn’t meant to be, and you’ll be ready for the right place when it comes along.