Since bidding wars are now the rule rather than the exception in real estate purchases, here are a few ideas to help you come out on top.
When shopping, only look for homes at least $10,000 under what you want to spend, this gives you some wiggle room in the bidding war. If possible, buy with cash, it's a huge advantage. The standard inspection period is 10 days, so consider a three-day inspection period.
My next tip is priceless: Do not underestimate the value of giving the seller a personal letter with photo about why you would like to buy their house.
When you're touring the home observe everything. Pets, kids, grandkids, life style, military, travel, place of employment, everything. All of this information is literally hanging on their walls or is easily noticed just by making a good inspection of the home.
Now that you have this info, use it to your advantage. Look for something you have in common with the seller, and put that in your letter.
I have received some letters almost begging for the seller to accept their offer. The desperation of buyers to find a home is so high I'm thinking any day now I could actually get a letter like this:
"My buyers loved your house and we noticed you're both in your 70s and, although you both look healthy, you never know what the future holds. So we took the liberty of taking a DNA sample from your toothbrush and my husband is a perfect match to you! We wanted you to know he would be willing to give up a portion of his liver or perhaps some bone marrow if we are the winning bidder."
Yes, it's that crazy. Good look house hunting.
Greg Rosen is a licensed broker in Oregon. He has specialized in helping folks in the Gresham to Mount Hood areas with 30 years of professional real estate services.
Lic # 870300066