You’ve done your research and are as savvy as you’ll ever be with your buying-know how – but wait, there’s more to consider before you make that offer. Here are 5 must-have tips on how to gain the upper hand in a bidding war.
1. Book more viewings. I have to admit that I am a terrible at being a good judge purely basing an opinion on first impressions. There are tons of people who I’ve disliked upon first meeting but later got to know and ended up very close friends with. On the flip side, there are many times that I’ve seen a gorgeous blouse in a store that I had to have but following my “go back later and if it’s still there you can get it” rule, lost it’s luster. With a house it’s even more important to go for more than one viewing to confirm your initial reaction. And who knows, maybe the chance to chat up the owner a few times may gain you valuable intel to win the bid.
2. Sweeten the deal. Sometimes there are more things to consider than just the dollar figure. If another bidder is offering only a slightly higher number than you, you may be able to edge them out by adding some small but much appreciated incentives. Perhaps there is a specific closing date that you are willing to accommodate or you can offer to pay for all of the closing costs. There might even be a difficult to move item in the home that you want to buy along with the house – saving them the hassle. A gesture that helps make the sale easier for the owners can gain you the upper hand.
5. Be cool. Don’t forget that this whole endeavour is about getting your dream house – not beating out the contenders. It’s not the best idea to buy a house you can’t really afford or one that isn’t what you really want. A bidding war can be like a competition where the heat of the action can make you feel like you want to take on more risks because you want to win. But remember, it’s not a game. Be logical and be careful. Most of all, establish what your threshold is beforehand so you can also be prepared to walk away.