How to Make Your Offer Stand-Out When There Are Multiple Offers on a House

If listings continue to trickle onto the scene like they have been (and like they did last spring too), there are a few givens: prices are going to rise and we may start to see appraisal problems again. In addition, we may also start seeing more multiple offers (buyers competing for the same property), so today’s blog offers a few tips for making your offer stand out from the others.

  • Write a big earnest money check. It won’t be cashed if your offer doesn’t get chosen, but it will get cashed if they choose yours, so make sure you can cover it, and that you are comfortable putting that much down (ultimately it will either come off the price of the house or go toward your closing costs or both). Most buyers write an earnest money check of between $500 (low) and $2000. $1000 is seen a lot in our offers. If you can swing it, write a check for $3500 – $10,000 depending on the price of the property. You will be noticed!
  • If you are 100% certain you want it/can’t live without it, make your earnest money non-refundable. This means the seller gets to keep your earnest money if you do not close for any reason. If you combine a non-refundable earnest money check with a large earnest money check, it can be a big old roller coaster until closing, so don’t do this unless you are serious about getting the property. 
  • Ask the listing agent what kind of a closing date the seller is looking for. If it works for you, use it. Most buyers do not bother to ask, and it could be important to that seller.
  • Along those same lines, ask the listing agent if the seller needs any of the appliances from the home if you plan to replace them anyway. Most listing agents encourage the sellers to leave the appliances in the home for buyers. It may help push the seller to choose your offer over another if there are things in your offer that benefit them.
  • Again, if you are 100% certain that you want it/can’t live without it, regardless of its flaws, you could skip the inspection. Some inspection periods are taking 10-20 days before a seller knows if they have sold their home or not. Skipping the inspection assures the sellers that you have a deal right now, not at the end of the inspection period.

Please pick and choose from among these ideas if you get into writing in multiple offer situations. Some will work in cash only offers. If you use all of them, you might as well just open your wallet to the seller, because you will have lost all of your negotiating ability. But a few of these in the right situation may be perfect.