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You Can’t Always Win in a Bidding War, But Here Are Some Sure-Fire Ways to Lose One, If You Aren’t Careful

When its a prime home buying a selling season, and, if you are looking to buy in an area with low inventory and high demand, you probably are going to run into a bidding war. Read on: How to Find and Keep a Realtor You’ll Love – Zillow. How do you handle a bidding war on your dream home? Here are the things that can go wrong:

Failing to realize you are in a bidding war: A great way to lose one, is to not realize there’s going to be one. So, how do you know? Know where you’re looking. In coveted areas, chances are, there will be a bidding war. Observe how many are at an open house. See: How to Avoid a Bidding War – US News. If the house is overflowing, there will likely be multiple offers coming through the door. If you’ve made an offer, and your agent tells you they’ve had higher bids, you now know you have competition.

Being disorganized: Sellers want a clear, organized offer. If it’s all jumbled up, with writing all over it, and just a complete mess, they will pass. No one wants to fumble through stacks of papers. You should ask yourself:

•Is there a deadline to submit offers?
•Is there a specific offer format the seller wants to see?
•Are there any other factors that might be important to the seller? Do he want a quick closing? Non-contingent financing offers? Does the seller want to stay in or rent the home until he can find another home?

Have an organized packet, as well as a pre-approval mortgage offer. Write a letter that will make the owner see you as a person instead of a piece of paper with a monetary figure on it. In the letter, write why you love the home, and other things that tie the owner to you emotionally. 

Not coming prepared

When you’re competing with multiple offers, you have to come prepared. Cash deals are almost an easy win. Since most people cannot afford to do that, get pre-approved so that the seller takes you seriously. Another way is to increase the amount of your down payment.

Not knowing when its time to walk away 

Realize when its time to walk. If you’re overpaying on your budget to the point where you cannot afford it, leave it be. It’s easy to get caught in a war, and feel the need to “win.” Set a limit on what you’re willing to pay for the house before you even submit your offer. Make your best offer upfront. Read on: Bidding War Basics for Buyers – HGTV Real Estate. Write an escalation clause, which details how much you’re willing to outbid another offer up to a certain limit. 

Not being available

If you really want that home, you should stick around until you know whether your offer fell through or was accepted. Don’t go out of town or be otherwise inaccessible to your Realtor during a bidding war. Be prepared to make decisions very quickly and respond very quickly to questions about your offer. For more information: Just Say No To Bidding Wars.

Sellers like to close fast. When you’re in a multiple-offer situation, it’s best to make an offer with few contingencies. That can mean foregoing repairs or added appliances and furniture. There are many things you can do to increase your chances to win in a bidding war. The important thing is to make sure you aren’t acting on a whim just for the sake of “winning.” More importantly, is to be willing to walk away.

2 comments on You Can’t Always Win in a Bidding War, But Here Are Some Sure-Fire Ways to Lose One, If You Aren’t Careful

  1. It’s so easy to get caught up in this type of emotional situation. It is so important that you come up with your max offer price before you even put an offer in. Otherwise, you’ll keep making excuses to yourself that you can go higher. Trust me, it will save you a lot of disappointment.

  2. Bidding wars are scary business. People end up paying so much more money than they should, and often regret it immediately after when it’s too late. If you want to get into a bidding war, do it over something small on a platform like eBay on rare coins or something. Not with a few hundred thousand dollars over a house.

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