How to Come Out Ahead in a Multiple Offer Situation

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  1. Be ready to go.
    • Get pre-approved with a LOCAL lender. Avoid internet companies! It is so important to have a real person to talk to on the other end of the phone.
    • Make your pre-approval letter specific to the house that you are making the offer on. Your mortgage broker will do this for you. Have them run the numbers for you with the offer price and the actual taxes. Make sure that the property address is on the letter.
    • Have the lender leave the price off of the letter if possible. Some lenders will do this and some won't. If their company policy does not allow for this, ask them to write one for the amount that you plan to offer. If there is a counter offer, ask if they can re-write it for the new amount.
    • Avoid showing sellers a generic pre-approval letter with your maximum approved price. You don't want the seller knowing that you are qualified to spend more than you are offering on their house.
  2. Get your offer in quickly with a short response time.
    • This is important. You don't want to allow time for more offers to come in.
  3. Put your best foot forward.
    • In a multiple offer situation, it is important to understand that you may only have one chance. The seller will choose the best offer to counter offer or accept.
    • This is no time to low-ball. Put your best offer in right out of the gate.
  4. Keep the contingencies to a minimum.
  • Don't scare the seller with a laundry list of inspections that you plan to have. Carefully think about the issues that you are most concerned about. We can help you navigate through this process.
  • Make it personal.
    • Consider including a personal letter to the seller. We suggest hand written letters. Tell the seller a little bit about yourself and why you love their house. This can make a huge difference when a seller is deciding between two similar offers. They want to know that whoever is buying their house will love it as much as they have.

      - "We are avid runners and love how close your house is to the Back Cove trails."

      - "My husband and I collect art and we would love to live within walking distance of the Old Port's many art galleries and museums."

    • Consider including a photo.
  • Have your broker see if there is anything that the seller would like to see in an offer. This is not always possible but, sometimes it can be as easy as adjusting the closing date. A week or two might make a huge difference to the seller. The small inconvenience could mean the difference of getting the house or not getting it.
  • Offer with Strategy - A full price offer does not always guarantee the winning bid. Consider bidding over the asking price. Try to guess what the other offers might be. You might guess that someone has offered full price, another $1,000.00 over the asking price and another $5,000.00 over the asking price. Try to out smart these people. Offer $1,500.00 over the asking price, $6,000.00 over the asking price etc. These amounts sound like a lot but, in reality there are not very much if you consider them over the life of the loan.

Good luck!