The best, cleanest offer is all cash with no contingencies. This offers the seller no hassles and a quick close. In many cases a seller will take a lower all cash offer with no contingencies over a higher offer that involves a loan. After 8/1/2015, cash offers will have an even larger advantage over offers with loans.
The second best way to win a bidding war is to listen to your agent. Every week during our office meeting we discuss "the deals we missed" and the common refrain on the buy side is "they didn't listen to me". Agents know the market and know what it is going to take to win a deal with what you have to offer. Listen to your agent.
The flip side of that is that as agents we have to do a good job of getting our clients educated on the market conditions and to understand why they should do x, y, or z. While there are some people who are going to insist on doing everything their own way, regardless of a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, I generally view the "they didn't listen to me" comments as a failure on the part of the agent.... more
If you don't see your self staying in the unit for a long time, you may want to consider saving longer for a market rate unit. You won't have the opportunity to earn much when you sell. They are great if you plan to stay long term. Think of it as a shelter from the rental market.... more