5 Creative Ways to Win a Bidding War in a Hot Market

how to win a bidding war

House hunting in South Bay LA—one of the country’s hottest real estate markets—where the supply of houses is low and buyer demand is high, you’ll find yourself in a bidding war, with multiple offers pushing prices ever higher.

Here, Realtor.com shares some creative, less-expected methods prospective buyers have used to win over sellers.


  1. Putting heart and ‘sole’ into it

If you have access to something that’s usually difficult to get, and you know that the seller would love it, by all means, use that to your advantage. According to Realtor.com, one agent was touring potential buyers through a home when they saw that the seller had an over-the-top shoe collection. The buyer worked for a well-known, high-end shoe designer and offered the seller her choice of five new pairs of shoes. Needless to say, they got the deal. Have a friend who can score orchestra seats to Hamilton, or tickets to a playoff baseball game? If you have a connection, this may be the right time to use it.


  1. Making a ‘moving’ gesture

Finding a reputable mover can be a huge hassle, plus it can get pretty expensive rather quickly. What if someone else decided to handle all that? According to Realtor.com, another agent recently had a buyer who was competing for a Spanish Mediterranean-style home priced at about $2.5 million. The client upped the ante by offering to pay for the moving crew and presenting gifts to the seller’s children: a basketball for the son, Peppa Pig toys for the daughter and a small trampoline for the pair to share. The seller loved the gesture to pay for the mover, as well as the gifts, and the buyer ended up winning a very heated bidding war.


  1. Sweetening the deal

Always try and meet a seller face to face. Simply meeting the homeowners can be extremely helpful, as it gives them a chance to create a bond or rapport with potential buyers. An in-person comment about how much the buyers love the house also can be very powerful. You might want to take it a step further and even offer the homeowner a small gift, such as homemade baked goods. Not only will this come as a surprise, but it may even make a difference when it comes to accepting your offer to purchase the home.


  1. Waiving a mortgage contingency

Even if you can’t afford an all-cash offer, you may want to waive the mortgage contingency if you know that securing a mortgage won’t be a problem. Buyers who waive mortgage contingencies can be successful in beating the competition without needing to up their offer. Although it can’t compete with an all-cash offer, it’s better than having contingencies and a deal falling apart. Sometimes, alternatives to offering more money can be just as effective.


  1. Adding cute photos with your offer letter

Along with a heartfelt offer letter, buyers should consider throwing in a photo of their family—and their pets. There usually are many dynamics at play with these offers, but it can help to put a face with a name and number on a piece of paper. Cliché or not, it can be tough to say no to a photo of cute kids and pets.

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