If there was one best way to win multiple offer situations, we'd all be adopting that best practice, and then what?
The secret to winning in multiple offer situations is (deleted by the Secret Keepers).
I suggest recalibrating a bit - I think that buyers who spent last summer and fall imagining $400,000 homes are finding that in practice, those houses are now selling for $425,000. Recognizing that, they might recalibrate and focus on $375,000 listings where they can outbid competitors.
All the best,
I never advise my buyer to have their pre-approval written just for the amount they are offering.
I know a lot of agents think that is "strategic".
I don't think it is.
ln fact, I think it can be counterproductive.
I mean, who are you kidding?
If you're negotiating, and you then increase your offer, you have to rush and get a new pre-approval letter written......ditto if you increase again.
It will become obvious to the sellers you are playing a game with the letter........for what purpose?
Just because someone can afford to offer more, doesn't mean they have to, or will ,offer more.
It's better if you look like the strongest buyer you can be (especially if you're competing against other buyers)......not a game player with constantly changing numbers.
From the other side - as a listing agent - I am very reassured when I see a pre-approval for more than the offer price......much more reassured............ and the sellers have confidence in knowing the buyer is more than qualified...and not stretching to the top of their limit.
How would you feel if you lost it for $5,000 and the seller would have countered you because he liked your offer best...except you made it look like you were barely qualified? Even if you won't go any higher in price than your offer, it is never good in multiple offers to look like you can barely make it as to the financing.
The seller's agent fears assisting the seller in choosing the wrong buyer who is going to cancel after the win, which happens all too often. The mere fact that you are asking this question here tells me you do not have an agent at all, or an agent you rely on 100% to handle your situation best. The seller's agent may pick that up as well.
Very often when there are 3 or more equally qualified offers of about the same amount, who your agent is will be the decision making factor. Choose wisely.
Many people make the erroneous assumption that if they have no agent at all, it increases their chances of getting the house because the agent for the seller makes double. Not so. In fact the opposite is true. When there are multiple offers the Seller's Agent almost always makes it clear to all of the agents that none of the offers are "his". It can be a big mess for the Agent for the Seller if the winning offer is one that the Agent for the Seller wrote for the buyer acting as a Dual Agent.
The exact answer depends on the situation. Usually the agent for the buyer can glean information that will help you in the days before the offers are reviewed. Every seller is different and has different fears and objectives. Knowing what terms and not just what price is key. Rarely does the agent for the seller spell out those terms in detail. You need to have an agent you trust SO much, that you wouldn't be asking this question here in this forum. You obviously do not.
I had a transaction last year where I previewed a property the day it came on the market, wrote up a contract knowing the client would like the house, had the client look at it that afternoon and then sign the offer I had already prepared, and finally had the client's offer to the listing agent that evening. Even doing all that we were not the only offer received. We were also not the highest offer, but fortunately the seller selected our offer (even though I could not vouch for the lender on that transaction).
If we'd done an inspection that could have allowed time for other bidders to come in, or the seller might have accepted the other offer.
There are a ton of other little things I didn't go into, such as the choices you make when filling out the contract. Sometimes a little investigation before making an offer is better than making a choice the buyer might not like. As an example, investigating the capacity sewer charge so that you can select "assumed by buyer."
But the biggest factors remain having an agent that can write good solid contract without technical defects, and having that agent be able to say that they are familiar with the lender the buyer is using. That will give the seller a lot of confidence that the transaction will actually close. That was important even prior to multiple offers being so common.
You want the highest bid, as long as it is a strong, committed Offer.
Have Realtor representing you.
Have your Realtor do a CMA to determine the Market Value.
Have your Lender give you a Pre-Approval for the exact amount that you are offering.
Do a complete "inspection" of the house and lot with your Realtor.
Do not spend money on a "professional" inspection; it is not your house yet.
Assume that the CMA will be very close to an APPRAISAL.
Do not spend money on an Appraisal; it is not your house yet.
Depending upon how much you want the house, offer a little over the Market Value: This will either get you the house, or, at least, get you on the list for a "best and final offer".
Understand that anything over the Appraised Value will have to come out of your pocket in the form of CASH.
Do an "AS-IS" offer at your own peril: Add the Inspection Contingency to protect yourself; if the house needs a lot of work, you are better off losing it and finding another house. Especially at full Market Value.