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How to Win a Bidding War in a Hot Housing Market


How to Win a Bidding War in a Hot Housing Market

The Greater Nashville area is a hot housing market, so it’s not uncommon for sellers to receive multiple offers at once. When this situation presents itself, it is important to work with an experienced REALTOR® to identify the best strategy that will give you the competitive edge. Here are some of the best tips for winning a bidding war…


1. Show your financial strength

If paying cash and waiving all contingencies is not an option (and for most, it isn’t), make sure you have your finances together before making an offer. Get pre-approved for a loan with a local lender who has a great reputation within the real estate community (your agent can offer suggestions – be sure to listen to him/her). If you choose your own lender, have them call the listing agent and speak of your good financial status. Other smart steps would be to get underwriter approval, opt for conventional financing and increase your earnest money amount. Include a copy of your earnest money check as well to show you mean business.


2. Make it an offer they can’t refuse

Offering what the seller is asking in regards to price, terms and closing timeline will most likely be necessary and sometimes even expected. Think of other ways to entice the seller. Your REALTOR® will help you assess what terms are most important, including…

  • Offering at the list price or offering at a price based on relevant sales
  • Waiving contingencies or shortening contingency time periods
  • Being flexible on the closing date, if that is what the seller wants
  • Working carefully to negotiate price if it comes to that


3. Add a personal touch

Sometimes sellers are looking for more than just the right price and terms. A homeowner might be swayed by a personal touch that shows how badly you want their property. Appeal to their emotions.

  • Move quickly to get your offer submitted by the deadline. You want your offer on top of the pile! Sometimes if the seller gets overwhelmed they’ll opt to work with the first offer that came in.
  • If time allows, have your REALTOR® deliver the offer in person. This shows you are willing to go above and beyond.
  • Write a letter about yourself and include photos. Tell the seller what you love about the home and appeal to their emotions.


4. Let your REALTOR® go the extra mile for you

In a multiple offer situation, your agent should be developing a rapport with the listing agent to learn the way they like to communicate. They will also research what terms are most important to the seller. By learning the listing agent’s deal history, they will advise you on how to price your offer. Lastly, they will write an offer that will hopefully gain you the competitive edge. Be sure not to underestimate the power of having agent who is well-known and well-liked by his or her peers. That relationship can go a long way!


If the bidding war does not end up in your favor, be confident in knowing that you did everything you could do. Know that the winning buyer most likely paid a price that you were not willing to make because it was outside of your comfort zone. If you learn from a loss, you’ll know how to present yourself differently the next time you’re involved in a multiple offer situation.

The Southbound Group is here to help you navigate this complicated process. They are Nashville real estate experts who are well-versed in multiple offer scenarios. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.