How to Survive – and Win – During the Homebuying Season

Eriks Draiska
Eriks Draiska
Published on June 14, 2019

Working with first-time buyers and those on tight budgets over the years is heartbreaking. So many offers made and so many passed over for someone else’s.

One of the most frequently-asked questions we received was

“Aside from increasing the amount of money we’re offering, what else can we do to win in a multiple-offer situation?”

As we head into the selling season, we will no doubt hear this question again, so today we want to share with you some tips that just might win you that home.

Make it personal – write a letter to the seller

Letters to the seller get a bad rap from some in the industry, but they can help to some degree.

Ensure that the letter will connect emotionally with the seller. Explain, specifically, why you love the home and how living in it will affect your family.

Personal letters are especially effective when accompanied by a photograph of yourself and, if you have one, your family.

Need ideas? recently published some sample letters that might just do the trick.

Don’t argue the seller over the small stuff

It’s tempting to want the seller to fix even the little things that show up on a building inspection report. If you truly love the home, and the inspection report doesn’t show any major problems, avoid that temptation and leave out requests that the seller make or pay for repairs.

The cleaner your offer, the more likely it will stand out among others. And, after price, the seller will look at other aspects of the contract that will cost him or her money when deciding on which offer to accept.

Increase your deposit

What sellers want most, aside from the most money possible, is to know that when they take the home off the market after getting an offer, the sale will go through.

To reassure the seller that you are serious about the purchase, increase the amount of your deposit.

The deposit – typically a certain percentage of the offering price.

It’s held in trust and applied toward the purchase price at settlement. It can, however, be forfeited if you breach the contract.

An increase in deposit money shows an increase in good faith – and sellers love that.

Be ready to make an offer quickly

If you dilly-dally in a hot market, someone else going to buy that home you fell in love with. Have your “ducks in a row” and be ready to make a move quickly.

Get pre-qualified and pre-approved

Consider including a copy of your pre-approval letter with your offer.

Submit a strong offer

Don’t over-extend yourself here, but if it’s within your range, consider submitting an offer at the asking price, or potentially even higher than the list price.

Is offering a lower figure to the seller to save a few dollars a month on your mortgage payment worth losing the house over?

Agree to be flexible with your settlement date

Believe it or not, we’ve seen buyers win a bidding war against higher offers just by being flexible on the settlement date.

Understand the sellers’ needs

Many sellers need more time to move out, so offering to settle on their preferred date, or even offer to rent back the home to them after settling, may be a way to win in a multiple offer situation.

If the home is vacant, offer to settle quicker, if possible. Of course, you’ll need to get with your lender to determine how quickly you can settle, but this is an attractive offer to a seller with carrying costs inherent in a vacant home.

If all else fails…

If you’ve ever been in a multiple-offer situation you know that the seller may find another offer to purchase more attractive than yours. If this is the home of your dreams, consider making a backup offer which will put you next in line if the chosen buyer backs out of the purchase.

Sure, it sounds like a long shot but back-up offers can become primary offers so they’re worth considering when the home is exactly what you want.

Still, have questions? Reach out to us – we love talking about real estate!

Got comments or feedback? Email [email protected]

To find out more, you’re welcome to call 08 83961100 to arrange a chat with people that care.
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Like most things in life, these are recommendations only. It is not legal advice, it may or may not suit your own circumstances and you may need to make your own additional enquiries.
Regards Eriks & Team 
Plaza Real Estate 

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