If your are purchasing in a sellers market, I know you are having a tough go of it. I’m here to give you some tips that may help our offer stand out in a multiple offer situation. A sellers market is when there is low inventory and a high buyer pool. Currently in St. Augustine we have less than 2 months of inventory. A balanced market is about 6 months but anything less leans towards sellers, so you can see that 2 months is nothing.

If a house comes on the market and you love it trust me there are a probably 40 other buyers loving it too so you need to be prepared.

Here are some tips that might help you win a bidding war on the home you want to purchase.

  1. Get prequalified with a local lender  I say local because you need someone who is available and will respond to your needs and questions. I have a fantastic local lender that I can get on a Sunday afternoon if I need a pre-approval written up on a home. In today’s market you need to be quick so finding a local lender that can act quickly is key. The other thing you lender will work with you on is to find out what you are comfortable paying on a monthly basis and the highest you are willing to go on a home to be competitive.
  2. Find a local Realtor to work with, someone that you can get on the phone and who acts quickly. Someone who knows the area, knows what the market is doing, and what homes are selling for. Talk to them about what you are comfortable going to on a home and let them know what your walk away number is. This will help them negotiate on your behalf.
  3. Get into new listings on Day 1, make it happen. Many homes are going under in less than 24 hours and they are getting multiple offers so you need to act quickly.
  4. Make your offer as clean as possible with as little contingencies as you can. Here are some ways you can do that.
  5. Escrow deposit: this is a good faith deposit letting the sellers know you are serious and confident you are going to make it to the closing table. If you would normally offer $1,000, make it $3,000 or $5,000. This is still your money that sits in escrow and is protected by your contingencies, so if you are not satisfied by the inspection, or you do not get a loan commitment then you get your escrow deposit back.
  6. Inspection: The default is 15, that’s a long time so change it to 7 or less. Inspectors get you a report quickly in a day or so so you will have plenty of time. Your Realtor will have inspectors on their speed dial so tentatively book one when you make the offer on the house so you are ready to go. The other thing you are not going to want to do is not nit pick on lots of little things. This is the time to see the condition of the home and if there anything major that’s going to stop you from wanting this home. Don’t nit pick on cosmetic issues, stick to safety hazards, condition of the structure, roof, etc.
  7. Closing Date: Accommodate the sellers needs for closing. Do they want to move out quickly, do they need time because they are building a home, can you be flexible and accommodate the sellers needs? If so, this will likely sweeten your offer.
  8. Write a letter about how much you love the house and how you see yourself there but keep it short and sweet. Selling a home can be emotional for the seller too so you can humanize your offer by writing a letter. It may make your offer stand out and connect with the seller.

If you are going through multiple offer situations right now, I hope these tips help you to win the next one.  Be persistent and be patient. The house that is meant for you, is the house you are going to get.

If you have any questions or need to chat. Call/Text me at (904) 747-0183 or email me at [email protected]

About the Author
Kim Devlin is a Realtor with RE/MAX LeadingEdge in beautiful St Augustine Florida. She enjoys sharing real estate tips and local insight on communities and life in St Augustine. Tune in weekly and be sure to subscribe to her monthly newsletter.