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Trulia San F…, Other/Just Looking in San Francisco, CA

Bidding War Strategy: what is the best approach to winning a real estate bidding war?

Asked by Trulia San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Tue Feb 19, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


The best approach is unfortunately not available to most people - and that's to buy with cash. Everything else comes secondary from the perspective of the seller and listing agent.

This is hard to answer because every seller is different...some are looking for the top price, others are looking for the strongest cash position, still others care more about particular time frames and conditions.

Bidding wars are unfortunately here again and all too often, the first time buyers with FHA and VA loans are getting shut out.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
Bid higher than the other people bidding. Also, have your REALTOR write a personal note to the owners explaining your situation. If possible put some tear drops on the personalized note.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2013
You simply have to put in a bid above the asking price. If you can ask questions about the other bidders, find out information about them and price accordingly. Good luck. Call or email for a free pre-approval and free credit report.

We can do: FHA, Conventional, USDA, VA, HARP, Interest Only, Home Equity, Fixed, and Variable. Find out which product is right for you by calling Brad at (855) 415-5626.

Brad Neumann
Sr. Loan Officer
Crosscountry Mortgage Inc.
Toll Free: (855) 415-5626 ext. 5734
Email: bneumann@myccmortgage.com
NMLS# 948036
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 26, 2013
Make an offer that presents the greatest value to the seller.
That is not always cash.
It's not always the hightest price.
Some will alllow months to pass to accomidate the offer that embraces what they, the seller, values most.
With such limited information as suggested by the question, one must make assumptions and respond based on these assumptions. Reality is so much differant.
You win the bidding war by not engaging in it, and making the CORRECT value offer.
The details are worth paying for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 27, 2013
Quick closing and NO contingincies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 27, 2013
Cash and highest is not always the best in the world of foreclosures. Yes, the bank looks a net to them just like any other seller, but how you arrive at it can and does make a difference.
You want termite inspection and treatment and the bank or seller paying for it - comes from sellers bottom line, but also a delay in closing period. Want septic system or well inspected - time is money to the seller/bank.
If both a cash and financed offer are exactly same terms - cash will many times speak a little louder, but I am noticing banks are wanting higher earnest money and per diem from cash buyers.
The cleaner the deal - in any home transaction - the better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 26, 2013
The best approach to winning a real estate bidding war is having an excellent agent who understands the market and can both provide strong and effective advice to their client and who knows the questions to ask and way to find out what it will take to get the deal done. There are so many nuances to making an offer that extend beyond the basic terms of the contract. The benefit to a cash buyer is not in the way they are delivering funds, but in the ability to make an offer without several of the typical contingencies that a Buyer with traditional financing must have in place to be protected.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 3, 2013
Cash is king! Sorry to say but an all-cash deal usually wins...... I would never suggest a buyer waive all inspections, especially buyers new to San Francisco.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2013
The best way to win is to buy all cash. Another way to win if you are coming in FHA is to put together a complete packet for the seller. This should include a detailed list of everything you are paying for. (sometimes paying for some of the seller costs and having the loan agent work it into your loan can be an option.) show the seller that you are a strong qualified buyer. Provide a letter from the buyer stating his interest in the property. Include all loan info including agent and a letter of pre approval. Also tell your loan agent to call as well. This will show you are completely serious and re assure the seller you can close quickly. If your packet is complete with all the bells and whistles, when the seller reviews it he will know without a doubt you are truthful and ready to buy. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2013
Oh the bidding war!

First of all I encourage my clients to make their best and final offer from the start. If their best is not godd enough , I urge them to be prepared to move on.

Some thins can be done to make an offer stand out in the crowd are:

1. Shorten alll contengency periods

2. Have your agent write a letter on buyer's behalf, one that will personalize the buyer to the seller.

3. Give your lender permission to convey/release information regarding the status of your loan approval process to the listing agent. This permission should be in writting. Make sure and submitt copy of the written permission with your offer.

4. Use conventional financing, if the buyer can. Some sellers will give more weight to an offer with conventional financing vs. FHA financing.

5. Buyer should have a down payment, sellers will favor an offer with a buyer with a down payment.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2013
Bad counsel. Your notion of making a 'best and highest' offer up front is imposing a one-size-fits-all approach to home buying which will result in many buyers paying too much and feeling duped when they realize they paid more, sometimes significantly more, than they needed to. The other flaw is the assumption that a buyer's 'best and highest' is an absolute number. A person's 'highest' while offering without competition will be lower than when multiple offers on a property are present, it's human psychology. Unless a buyer is incredibly disciplined and emotionally detached (extremely rare), the highest offer will be relative number based on the specific circumstances of the negotiation.

I'm assuming you're a listing agent. If not, you'd make a good one.
Flag Thu Apr 24, 2014
I wrote about this in the last smoking hot market:
Web Reference: http://blog.SFisHOME.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
Cash makes it much easier because there is no loan or appraisal contingencies, but a very strong down payment coupled with a very good agent helps. I would also suggest the buyers writing a letter to the sellers and if they had a picture even better.

99% of the time it comes down to price, but there are occations where the above works.

Good question, if we knew we could always get our offers accepted everytime we could bottle it and sell it for a fortune:)


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
Make the highest offer you can. As a listing agent, I don't give any advantage for cash if the buyer is well qualified. It's all about the bottom line on closing day.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
Having the best agent/broker there is. In competitive offer situations who is representing the buyer and how they present the offer can be just as important as price and terms.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
Offer your highest and best. Usually all-cash offers have the upper hand. If you have to finance see what you can do to minimize your contingencies (i.e. decrease your inspection and loan times).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
The most effective is blow everyone else away! Is that the "best"? That would be up to the buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
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