How to Deal with Competing Offers

Scenario: You find your dream home.

In a perfect world, you’re the only buyer putting in an offer on it– no suspense, no competition, just a happy ending! All too often though, it doesn’t work out that way. With the long standing shortage of housing inventory– not just in Santa Barbara but even statewide– homes that are well priced often see multiple offers.

Don’t let the thought of competing offers discourage you! There are a million reasons other offers may be innately less appealing. Here’s what to do (and NOT do) to make your offer be the one that is responded to:

How to craft an offer that rises to the top in multiple-offer situations.

What NOT to Do: Common Red Flags

With everything else held constant, there are three main ways otherwise similar offers can be less appealing to a seller:

  • Finances:  Not providing pre-approval from an experienced local lender and/or proof of funds. This is necessary not just to show the seller that the buyer has the means to close, but has enlisted a tried-and-true lender who cares about their reputation in town to “get it done!” Financing is a huge component of a successful transaction, right from the outset you want to put your money where your mouth is to show the seller you are ready to see it through.
  • Contingencies: Understanding what contingencies are acceptable to a seller and what isn’t is important. If you absolutely require a contingency that will be frowned upon, find something to offset it to keep the seller excited.
  • Presentation:  Sloppy or unprofessional presentation of the offer by the agent is surprisingly and disappointingly commonplace. Real estate is no different from any other profession, and first impressions are key! If your agent is missing key components in the initial paperwork– before a transaction even gets started– it’s all too often just a precursor of things to come and the listing agent will point this out to the seller.

There’s a time and a place to do things “on a wing and a prayer.” Writing an offer on your ideal home is not one of those times, so definitely keep these items to a minimum for the best chance to hear that your offer has been accepted!

What TO Do: Special Techniques to Win a Bidding War

Happy couple hugging after buying a house

Part of a successful strategy is knowing what to avoid (if possible), to be in a strong position in a multiple-offer situation. But there’s a lot more to it– sometimes there are a lot of ingredients in the “special sauce” of a winning offer! We have proven techniques to make an offer irresistible, each of which are tailored to the buyer and the situation.

Bottom Line:

When you find your dream home, don’t despair at the thought of going up against other buyers. And certainly don’t leave it to chance!

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