<< Go Back

Bidding wars

In multiple offer situations, a competitive, well-written offer is always the best offer. Here are four tips to help your buyer compete in — and win — a bidding war.

In multiple offer situations, a common phenomenon these days, you can help your buyer by writing an offer that stands out from the rest. And though speed is often of the essence, a strong, competitive, well-written offer is always the best offer. Here are four simple ways you can help your buyer compete in —and win—a bidding war.

Write a clean, complete offer

  •  Make sure you have spelled every name right, filled in every date, that your buyer has initialed and signed everywhere needed. The time it takes to make corrections may knock your offer out of the running.
  • Get all documents completed in advance: If the listing agent has requested signed addendums or documentation of any kind, include them.
  • Include a pre-approval letter for the offered amount, or if a cash transaction, proof of funds

Communicate with the listing agent:

 Initiate a conversation with the seller’s agent –before writing the offer –in order to find out what the sellers really want and need. Here you can find out things that will make your offer more appealing—even perhaps, more than simply offering more money.

For instance, knowing the preferred closing date: If the sellers need time to find their next home, your buyers can offer a longer than normal close, a rent back, or even a free extended stay as long as they stay within the lender’s guidelines.  On the other hand, sellers may need a quick close for a fast release of funds. You can’t know if you don’t ask.

Sweetening the offer:

Beyond offering an over-asking price, which is likely to be the case with most offers in a multiple-offer situation, your buyer can:

  • Agree that earnest money is non-refundable to show commitment and  seriousness
  • Not ask for any help with closing costs
  • Not ask for any personal property beyond what’s clearly stated on the MLS as included


As detailed in the Washington Post this year, desperate buyers in tight markets can be tempted to do just about anything to get the house of their dreams, including waiving their right to inspection. But waiving the right to inspect a house is dangerous prospect for a buyer and one you may regret advising.  A better bet is to shorten the inspection period, allowing less time for the offer to be contingent, and indicating real motivation on the part of the buyer to close the deal quickly and cleanly.


These are just four tips to strengthen an offer and beat out the competition. What do you do to help their buyers compete in today’s tight market?