How to Make Your Offer Stand Out in a Crowded Market

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The real estate market can be a bloodbath (see the reference photo below). In this blog post, we give you tips on how to make sure your offer stands out among all the others. If you really want that dream home, you’re going to need to make sure you pull out all the stops to secure the deal.

Totally real-life depiction of what house hunting is like

Three tips to stand out

Tip #1. If a home is priced within the bounds of comparable sales, then offer full price.  

If it is priced competitively, then explore how an ‘Escalation’ addendum works with your realtor.  These addenda allow a buyer to offer a specific amount in the absence of other offers. They also allow for an organized escalation of your offer price by specific increments up to a maximum top offering price.  The price is only driven by the presence of competing offers. You are offering $X more than the highest competing bid up to a maximum of $Y purchase price. Embedded in the addendum is a clause that compels the listing agent to show you the highest competing bid if yours is escalated and chosen.

Tip #2. Include a personal letter in the offer package.

The letter should be written in coordination with your buyer’s agent and addressed to the listing agent and the sellers. This personal touch should describe how the home made you feel walking in and express appreciation for the seller bringing it to market.

You should describe who you are, where you work, for how long, and why you would like to enter the next chapter of your life at this location. Name your children. Include a family picture. Perhaps include a small joke about how one of the kids has already picked out their room.

Take note of the type of art or decor in the home and let them know your furniture will fit perfectly. Compliment their taste. Make yourself human. Bond with them.

You’d be surprised how far a well-written letter can get you. If a seller has lived at a home for 10, 20, or 40 years…there is some part of them that wants to turn it over to people that care. They want to know that good things will continue to happen after they leave.  A letter may not win the day in the midst of other significantly higher offers…but then again…it might.   You should be working with a buyer’s agent that has examples of letters they have written successfully with other buyers. I have won bidding wars with personal letters.

Tip #3. Meet your inspector at the home with your Realtor the same day you look at the home.

In a red hot market, here is an aggressive move that might get you the home. I give this advice only in red hot hot markets when you must have a particular home. Are you ready?

Develop a relationship with your favorite home inspector…or perhaps 2 or 3 inspectors.  Ask your realtor who they trust. Meet the inspector at the home the day you are looking at it! If this is THE home you want, then have the inspection done right away. That’s right…I am advising you to get your inspection done that day, before you have even written a contract on the home. It may be a risk worth taking.

What do you get by doing this, though? You might feel confident enough about the home right then and there to write your contract with no inspection contingency. This is a huge deal to a seller.

An inspection contingency is a negotiated period of time in which a buyer can back out of a contract for any reason. When you write your contract without one, you are making a bold statement and you are risking your earnest deposit right out of the gate. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? It would be insane if you hadn’t had an inspection. By taking a bold, unusual step upfront—the day you look at the home—you may put yourself at an advantage that other parties are unwilling to match. They don’t know the condition of the home yet. You do.

The real estate market is reflecting this demand at every turn. Buyers are finding themselves in bidding wars for homes. In some cases, buyers are bidding on four, five, or even more homes before finding one that they may secure under contract. They may have offered full price or perhaps more, but have been beaten by other offers several times. So make sure you’re setting yourself up for success and doing everything you can to secure your offer!


If you’re looking for a specific yes / no answer, and want  to walk through this decision with us?  Reach out to me at and schedule a call to set up a no-cost, no-obligation process for prospective clients. 

Read more about all things home buying here:

  1. To Buy or Not to Buy a Home?
  2. How Much Home Can I Afford?
  3. Where Should I Save Up For a Home?
  4. How to Approach Financing Your Home Purchase

Interested in learning more about whether a home purchase is right for you and how you can best save for it? 

Steward ‘s mission is opening up the 1%’s wealth strategies to America’s up-and-coming families with a combination of 21st century tech and trusted advisors. We help families determine how, where, and when to invest and save on taxes in plain-English, with minimal time and effort. Steward can help you determine if a home purchase makes sense, how much home you can afford, and how to invest and save in the most efficient way. Give it a try here.

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Written by Ami Shah and Ilija Wan-Simm

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