Tips for winning a real estate bidding war

Though the white-hot housing market shows some signs of a cooldown, housing inventory remains low, and competition among buyers is high. Migrations are a continuing by-product of increased career mobility, leaving real estate as a surging market.

How can a prospective homebuyer increase the odds of victory in a bidding war?

State of the market

Though the number of real estate bidding wars nationally recently dipped, competition for housing in California continues to be high. Redfin reports that 68.7% of home offers in the San Francisco and San Jose locale received competing bids in November 2020, and the percentage was still elevated in November 2021, holding at 68.4%.

Tips to improve your chances

A buyer can find better chances of success by positioning themself as the easiest purchaser to deal with. The following suggestions may help:

  1. Writing a personal letter to the seller: A heartfelt story can build a friendly connection and make it harder to turn down the sender’s offer.
  2. Securing mortgage preapproval or paying cash: Either option speeds up the sale process, creating greater security for the seller.
  3. Offering to pay seller costs: Covering the seller’s out-of-pocket costs at the sale is hard to ignore.
  4. Removing or negotiating contingencies: California requires any continency removal in writing, so a buyer must be sure to submit the proper forms to provide that benefit.
  5. Altering inspection requirements: If a purchaser is confident in the home and can afford the inherent risk of repairs, limiting or removing inspection requirements may help seal the deal.

A home is one of the largest and most important purchases a person makes in life. Real estate buyers benefit greatly from arming themselves for a spirited bidding war.