We surveyed leading real estate agents about this very topic. Here’s how:
5: Remove Some (not all) Contingencies. Offers are more appealing when they appear to have less risk to the seller. The lone contingency to keep is the inspection. As long as you keep the inspection contingency you can get out of the deal.
4: Make A Cash Offer (even if you don’t have it): A cash offer essentially removes the finance contingency. That’s it. As long as you are keeping your inspection there is no risk. Your offer will appear stonger than the others
3: Financing In Order: Make sure you know exactly what you can spend and what the bank has agreed to loan you. Knowledge and information is power, and if you know exactly where you want to land that is an advantage.
2: Write a Letter To The Owners: When there is a bidding war you need every advantage to set yourself apart. Put yourself in the sellers shoes, they have options and they are going to pick the option that is most appealing to them. Do they want to sell their home to an investor who is going to flip it? Maybe not, and if you tell the seller that you’re family this is your dream home as it is that can help.
1: Escalation Clause: The best kept secret is the Escalation Clause. This is the trump card, ace in the hole, magic bullet, whatever you want to call it. Many agents don't know about this. It’s pretty simple; you tell the seller what your offer is, then tell them that if someone has a higher offer you will pay 2k more than that offer, up to the highest price you are willing to pay. In the addendum be sure to ask for the competing offer that causes your escalation clause to kick in. You’ll never lose a house that’s within your price range again! And you’ll never pay more than you need to!