It’s home-buying season and the pace is fast and furious.  Homes are moving rapidly, especially those priced at or below $300,000.

If you want to have a winning offer, you need to look at how to get an advantage in competing with offers from other home seekers.

Before you even start to look at homes, you need to have the best help possible.

Choose a knowledgeable Realtor® who has experience in a variety of home buying situations.

An experienced Realtor has tackled many of the situations that you will encounter in the fast-moving, highly-competitive market today.  If you decide to work with a relatively new agent, do your homework and find out if they have a mentor who can help them manage competing offers and bidding wars.

Work with your Realtor to get prepared to win!

Strategies to get the home you want:

  1. Find out what’s important to the sellers

They may have issues above and beyond the sales price. Find out what is going to make life easier for the sellers.

In the current market, many sellers want to be buyers themselves, BUT don’t want to have to move twice.  They may wait until they have a firm offer before they look for or make an offer on THEIR next home.

You may want to consider helping them out by allowing them to stay in the house (as renters) after closing so they don’t have to move twice.

  1. Inspections

Some sellers will flatly state that their home is “for sale as is, with no remedies.”  Even if they don’t, you may consider not asking for repairs and doing a home inspection for the sole purpose of deciding whether you want to buy the house.

Once you have the inspection, you will have a clear picture of the most obvious potential problems.  Get an idea of how much needs to be done, decide what you want to have done, when you want it done.

THEN, you are in a much better position to decide if you want to move forward with the purchase.  Better to spend the money for an inspection – than to be stuck with defects that will make your life miserable and cost more than you want to spend.


An experienced Realtor will tell you to have your pre-approval – in writing – in hand.  This will make the sellers feel more comfortable and will help you to move you up on the list of buyers they will consider.

“Sell Yourself”

You and your agent should always behave in a relaxed, courteous and professional manner, with clearly defined steps that should be shared with the sellers.  NOBODY wants to deal with a needy, pushy or high-maintenance buyer or Realtor.

Be Prepared to Deal with Potential Appraisal Issues

If you have lost out on other homes, you may feel that you need to “do whatever it takes” to get a specific home.  That may lead you to really compete on price.

In highly competitive bidding situations, this may lead to the home NOT being appraised for the amount that will make the deal work.  Being able to cover a shortfall on the appraisal will give your offer a big edge over the rest of the field.

Look at the Right Homes

If you don’t want to compete in bidding wars, you may want to consider only viewing homes that have been on the market for more than 7-10 days, as they will be less competitive.

Finally, you and your Realtor need to be prepared – again – to be patient and clear on what you want and are prepared to do.