How to Approach a Bidding War

by Nancy Brenseke 12/13/2020

Image by Amy Hirschi from Unsplash

Situations arise where prospective buyers find themselves in a bidding war with another buyer over the house they desire. Circumstances like this occur in a seller’s market where the demand for property is higher than the market can provide. It’s not uncommon to see multiple buyers vying over the same property in a seller’s market. In these cases, buyers often attempt to best their competitors by submitting ever-increasing offers. To help you win a bidding war, you need to stand out from other buyers. Consider the following methods that may boost your chances of securing the home you desire. 

Up your offer

In a bidding war, the person with the highest bid ends up with the home. If you want to increase your chances of becoming the owner of a house when you have competitors, offer more money for the home. You do not have to go overboard when increasing your offer; a few hundred dollars more may make a difference. In this case, follow the guidance of an agent experienced in negotiating bidding war situations.

Be ready to show your pre-approval

To give yourself a winning edge during a bidding war, show the seller you are a serious buyer and that you are prepared to see the transaction through to the end. Sellers pay more attention to buyers that come prepared and ready to finalize the contract. A pre-approval letter from your lender can give you that edge.

Waive your contingencies

A contingency is asking the seller to make a concession on your behalf. Examples include closing delay contingencies based on your current home selling or your receiving proceeds from probate of a will. Other contingencies might be asking the seller to repair a roof or broken window before the close of the agreement. If you decide to waive your contingencies during a bidding war, it speaks volumes to the seller of how badly you wish to proceed with the transaction. You want to be careful though when waiving contingencies so that you do not end up in a situation where you lose your earnest money – be sure it’s a risk worth taking. 

Pay in cash

Offering to make payments for the house in cash gives you a chance over other competitors. It’s not an option everyone can afford, but if you can pay cash rather than getting financing, put the offer on the table. If you are offering to pay cash for a property you are in a bidding war to purchase, it eliminates third parties, reduces closing time, and makes the seller understand that you are serious. 

Include an escalation clause

An escalation clause is an addendum included in your offer telling the buyer that you are willing to increase your purchase offer by a certain amount if another buyer is matching your offer. An escalation clause comes in handy when you are trying to win a closely fought bidding war. 

To win a bidding war over a home you like, you must be strategic and ready to go the extra mile. Make sure your real estate agent knows your maximum budget to negotiate for you appropriately.

About the Author
Author

Nancy Brenseke

I love the ocean, sand and sunshine! That's why I call Hilton Head Island/Bluffton my home! I relocated to Hilton Head Island over 20 years ago from North Carolina after graduating from East Carolina University - Go Pirates! I continue to be successful in real estate for the past 13 Years and with my experience working with top resorts and gated communities, I have cultivated attention to detail, understand the importance of listening first and have the positive "Can Do" attitude in all situations. I offer my sellers and buyers the BEST advice to achieve their real estate goals. I enjoy spending time with my family boating on the May River, attending festivals along Old Town Bluffton and building sandcastles on HHI beaches.  

"Nancy Brenseke is the type of realtor that everyone should contract to sell their property. She is very knowledgeable and gave us valuable information when listing the townhome. The whole process went smoothly and Nancy was responsible for that. She always communicated with us which kept us confident that all aspects of the closing were under control and on track. I highly recommend Nancy Brenseke." ~ Deb Bluffton, SC

"I would highly recommend using Nancy for your real estate needs. She is extremely knowledgeable and responsive. Nancy's representation is top-notch." ~ Jill - Nashville, TN

"Nancy went the extra mile on everything around selling the condo. I would use her again and would recommend her to anyone I come in contact with. Our condo sold in 1 day! She was excellent and hardworker. She helped in all aspects of selling, from marketing with great number of pictures, to home inspection with helping us find contractors to fix the inspection issue so were were able to close." Eric - Cumming, GA