First, I have them determine how they are going to feel if they lose the bid. Then, they have to decide what is the most they are willing and able to bid. They have to not get carried away get caught up in the frenzy. Then, make sure what they are offering makes sense from both the buyers' and sellers' point of view. Are they grossly overpaying for the home, or are they grossly under market in their bid? Under bidding mostly seems to happen when the home is priced well under market value If they can afford to come in at market, and they just can't live without the home, have them go as high as they possibly can within reason, up to or slightly over market value. Then, if it doesn't work, it just doesn't work. If they have given it their best, then they won't beat themselves, or you, up over the loss. If they are financing, an over bid will still have to appraise. Explain that they are running the risk that the Seller won't reduce the contract price to the appraised value, but that it gives them best shot at getting the home. Chances are the Seller will realize that the home won't sell for that price to anyone else either, and will just meet the appraised value. Be sure to simplify the contract as much as possible. If they are changing out the appliances, don't put the appliances. If they are not intimidated by the condition, don't ask for inspections or be willing to get them done in 3 days, etc. Sellers like simplicity, and the fewer contingencies, the better. Also, when I represent Sellers, I like larger deposits and pre-approvals. As mentioned before, be sure to have the buyers' ducks in a row before putting in a bid.