Everything You Need to Know to Win a Home Bidding War

CHL - Home bidding concept

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In the world of real estate, winning a home bidding war is challenging, especially with more people engaging in it due to the housing shortage. This blog presents seven powerful strategies to give you the upper hand. From making a firm initial offer to being flexible with contingencies, these tactics will increase your chances of securing your dream home.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, this blog will teach you how to win a home bidding war so you come out on top.

What Is a Bidding War on a Home?

A home bidding war is where multiple potential buyers compete by submitting higher offers to purchase the property. It typically occurs when the demand for the home is high and exceeds the supply.

As a result, buyers try to outbid each other to secure the purchase. Real estate bidding wars can drive up the price of the home beyond its initial listing price and create a competitive atmosphere among buyers. The goal for buyers in a bidding war is to submit the winning offer and successfully purchase the desired property.

How to Win a Home Bidding War: 7 Strategies to Try

If you’re wondering how to win a home bidding war, here are effective strategies to try:

1. Have your pre-approval ready.

CHL - Pre-Approval Concept

Winning real estate bidding wars begins with preparation, and having your pre-approval ready is a crucial step. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage shows sellers that you are a serious buyer with the financial ability to follow through on your offer. It involves submitting your financial information to a lender who will assess your creditworthiness and determine the loan amount you qualify for.

With your pre-approval, you can confidently make offers on homes within your budget, giving you an advantage over other buyers. Being prepared with your pre-approval demonstrates your readiness to purchase, increasing your chances of success in a competitive bidding situation.

2. Increase your offer.

Bidding for a house involves increasing your offer over competitors to increase your chances of winning. To do this effectively, research the property’s market value and make a competitive offer that reflects its worth. Consider going slightly above the asking price if the property is in high demand.

However, setting a budget and staying within your financial limits is essential. Remember that offering the highest price doesn’t guarantee success, as other factors like contingencies and terms can influence the seller’s decision. Striking a balance between a firm offer and maintaining financial prudence is vital in increasing your chances of winning a home bidding war.

3. Up your down payment.

CHL - Down Payment on a House

One of the critical tips for winning a home bidding war includes setting a high down payment. Increasing your down payment demonstrates financial strength and commitment to the purchase.

A larger down payment can make your offer more appealing to sellers as it reduces the risk of financing falling through. It also helps to differentiate your bid from others, especially in a competitive bidding war.

By allocating more funds upfront, you show sellers that you can secure the property and are less likely to encounter financing issues. However, you should assess your financial situation and ensure you’re comfortable with the higher down payment amount before proceeding.

4. Pay in cash.

If you’re wondering how to win home bidding war, consider paying in cash. Paying in cash provides certainty and speed in the transaction, giving you a competitive edge. It also eliminates the potential hurdles and delays that can arise during the mortgage approval process. Nevertheless, remember to evaluate your financial situation carefully and ensure you have the funds to make a cash offer before pursuing this strategy.

5. Waive contingencies.

Contingencies are conditions in a purchase agreement that protect buyers by giving them the right to cancel the contract under certain circumstances. Consider waiving some or all contingencies to increase your chances of winning a home bidding war.

By waiving contingencies while bidding for a house, you show sellers that you are dedicated to the purchase and willing to accept the property in its current condition. Although carefully evaluating the risks involved in waiving contingencies, such as inspections or financing, is critical.

Ensure you have thoroughly assessed the property or consulted with professionals before making an informed decision. Waiving contingencies can strengthen your offer, but balancing being competitive and protecting your interests is necessary.

6. Add an escalation clause.

One of the tips for bidding on a house includes adding an escalation clause, which can give you an advantage in a competitive market. An escalation clause is a provision that automatically increases your offer by a set amount if another buyer outbids you. This allows you to stay competitive without continuously revising your offer.

Including an escalation clause in your offer demonstrates your willingness to go the extra mile to secure the property. However, setting a cap or limit to the escalation is needed so you stay within your budget.

Also, consult your real estate agent or attorney to understand the legal implications and ensure the clause is drafted correctly. Adding an escalation clause can increase your chances of winning a home bidding war while maintaining control over your offer.

7. Write a personal letter.

Along with the other mentioned tips on how to win home bidding war, writing a personal letter can be a powerful tool. A heartfelt letter to the seller can help you connect personally and differentiate yourself from other potential buyers.

In the letter, express your genuine interest in the property and share why it would be the perfect home for you and your family. Highlight any personal connections or shared values that resonate with the seller.

A personal letter can evoke emotions and create a sense of trust, increasing the likelihood that the seller will choose your offer over others. Nonetheless, your letter must be sincere and authentic, as insincere or exaggerated statements can have the opposite effect.

When Should You Walk Away From a Bidding War?

Sometimes, walking away from a home bidding war is better than continuing to compete. If the price exceeds your budget and stretches your financial limits, it may be wise to step back.

Additionally, if bidding for a house becomes excessive, with bids far exceeding the property’s value, it might be a sign to reconsider your involvement. If the property doesn’t meet your specific needs or standards, let it go and search for a better-suited option.

Lastly, if the risks of the home bidding war outweigh the potential benefits, it’s prudent to reevaluate and consider walking away. Remember, prioritize your financial well-being and find a home that meets your requirements.

How Do You Stop a Bidding War on a House?

Stopping real estate bidding wars can be daunting, but several successful strategies can help you navigate the situation. Firstly, it’s crucial to set and stick to a clear budget. By determining the maximum amount you’re willing to spend, you can avoid getting caught up in the enthusiasm of the bidding war and overspending.

Communication plays a pivotal role in stopping bidding wars. Take the initiative to engage with the seller or the listing agent directly. Express your concerns about escalating prices and discuss the possibility of negotiating a fair deal that aligns with both parties’ expectations. By initiating a conversation, you might find opportunities to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that can halt the bidding war.

Presenting a compelling offer early on can also help discourage other competition. By making an attractive and competitive offer right from the start, you can signal to other potential buyers that they may face an uphill battle if they continue bidding. This can prompt them to reconsider their involvement in the bidding war and potentially give you an advantage.

Finally, flexibility with contingencies can make your offer more appealing to the seller. While it’s essential to conduct due diligence, consider being open to reducing or waiving certain contingencies to make your offer stand out.

By combining these tips for bidding on a house property, you can increase your chances of stopping a bidding war on a house and position yourself as a strong contender to secure the property without excessive competition.

The Bottom Line

To increase your chances of winning, follow the tips for bidding on a house mentioned in this blog. Begin by having your pre-approval ready to demonstrate your financial readiness. Increase your offer to stand out among competitors.

You can also consider paying in cash to eliminate financing complications. Waiving contingencies and adding an escalation clause can make your offer more appealing. Lastly, remember the power of a personal letter to establish a genuine connection with the seller. By implementing these tips, you can expect good results when bidding for a house.

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About the Author:

Andrew McBryan

Andrew McBryan is the owner and founder of Cedar Home Loans LLC, where he brings over 27 years of experience in the mortgage industry to his role. Andrew has successfully expanded the company across Colorado, including offices in Telluride, Vail, Summit County, and Boulder. His dedication to providing innovative mortgage solutions and his commitment to staying informed on the latest industry trends make him a trusted advisor to clients and referral partners alike.

When not focused on his business, Andrew enjoys the unique sport of burro racing and relishes the time spent skiing in Colorado’s beautiful terrain. Above all, Andrew is a devoted father, finding joy and inspiration in his daughter’s growth and happiness. 

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