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Sidestepping the Bidding Wars

Posted by Johnine Larsen on April 23, 2015
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Screenshot-2015-04-23-13.52.52We just sold a house for $60,000 above asking(!), but in this current Seattle real estate market, that’s far from unusual. Buyers are competing with the fervor of Olympians, and prices are jumping up thousands of dollars—tens of thousands—even hundreds of thousands. The biddings wars rage fierce.

But sometimes, it’s not all about the money. Sometimes, the best way to win a multiple offer scenario is through the seller’s heart. Now, a song won’t beat $10,000, but when two bidders make very similar offers, moves like this can work.

Things to consider in a multiple offer scenario include:

Buyer’s Agent

The influence and credibly of a good agent trumps an independent buyer every time. Frequently, we’ll have a history of doing business with the listing agent, and that type of pre-established credibility makes the listing agent more likely to recommend you to their seller. A good agent will also try to get you buyers preapproved with trusted lenders, which assures the seller that your lender will follow through and that you really are In this market, a good agent is a must-have.


Paying for a pre-inspection lets you leave an inspection contingency out of your offer. No inspection means no inspection timelines or inspection concessions. That alone will shoot you to the top of a seller’s list.

Quick closing period

Shorter closing = more appeal for the seller. They don’t want to drag this out!

Large down payment

Money matters. If you can offer more money upfront, you’re more likely to win. Many homes in Seattle are getting all-cash offers, though, so be prepared: the competition is fierce.

Large earnest money deposit

Again, money matters.

The Personal Touch

A video is a bit over the top, but a personal letter is essential. These letters make your offer stand out from the pack, and they help the seller see you as a real person, rather than just black-and-white paperwork. We help our buyers write letters to the seller, because this isn’t just real estate we’re dealing with—these are homes.


Still don’t quite understand bidding wars and multiple offer scenarios? Check our guides here and here.