Writing The Winning Offer In A Competitive Situation

Written by Donna Kerr on March 16, 2020 · Leave a Comment

How To Win In A Competitive Offer Situation

When more than a dozen buyers recently bid on the same MoCo house, the message was clear: we’re dealing with an intensely competitive market.  And the trend is on-going with 24 offers on a Silver Spring home this week. That’s 24. Offers. Wow! We’re seeing it on nearly every property that we list:  multiple offers, few to no contingencies, prices escalating far in excess of list price.

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So how can homebuyers make sure their bid rises to the top?

Maura Fitzgerald, a senior agent at the Donna Kerr Group, said today’s market is remarkably squeezed by low inventory and high demand -- especially for detached homes under $600,000. Open houses have been packed. In the case of one property, she scheduled 20 showings within a day of listing.

The intense competition shouldn’t frighten buyers away, however. Maura, who’s been helping home shoppers adjust to market trends for nearly a decade, says she’s learned the best strategies to help clients find homes – and make a winning offer – when competition is fierce. 

Here's Maura's tips:

  • Plan early. Consult with your lender about what you’d like to pay – and how high you can go if bidding gets competitive. Take into account your down payment, closing costs, monthly mortgage payments and other costs that might come into play in a competitive market.
  • Apply the personal touch. If you make a bid on your dream house, write a letter to the seller about why you and your family love their home. 
  • Devote as much cash as possible to not only your down payment but your initial earnest payment, too. That’ll send a signal to the seller that you mean business.
  • Consider making a bid that includes an escalation clause. If you really want a house that’s listed in a competitive market, it’s a good bet you’ll need to go over the list price.
  • Offer to conduct a pre-offer inspection, which will cover the big items but skip making your offer contingent on a post-bid inspection. Agreeing to waive the inspection contingency can be very compelling to sellers.  We’re seeing at least 50% of offers coming in on our listings without home inspection contingencies. 

It’s a tough market out there. Buyers should be sure to have a buyer’s agent who knows all the tips and tricks to best represent her buyer. Ask your agent how many competitive bids she has won for her clients. If the answer is not many, perhaps you should consider an agent who wins :)

Bottom Line

And pssst: if you’re looking for one more secret sauce tip that will For personalized guidance that will literally “tip the scales” and help you snag your dream home  in a competitive bid situation, we’ve got you covered. Give the Donna Kerr Group a call at 301-288-3354.

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