I found this article in Inman News Today
Q: When you finally settle on the house you want to buy and you find there are multiple offers, how should you negotiate to make your offer the better one?
A: To those who are not currently active in the market, your question might seem a little bizarre. Multiple offers? In this buyer’s market? Absolutely! The best-priced homes in the best condition in the most desirable neighborhoods are receiving multiple offers, even in today’s market where so many sellers are struggling just to get a single one.
In fact, even homes that need more than a little TLC can get multiple offers if they are priced and/or located “right.”
So, what’s a buyer to do? There are actually a number of things you can do to make your offer competitive when you’re not the only one for whom that house is their dream house:
The author goes on to list how price, closability, terms and the personal touch can help you beat out other buyers on that really great deal.
Here, in Glendale, the last 3 houses purchased by my buyers were multiple offer situations. Here is what my buyers did to be the winning offer.
Price- in each case my buyers wrote their highest and best offer right up front. They were well educated on current property value and offered a price that made sense for them. They did not try to second guess what the seller would take or what other buyers would offer.
Closability- documentation is key to proving to the seller and the listing agent that you are going to be able to close escrow. My buyers provided a strong qualifying letter from a respected lender, proof they had the down payment money and disclosed their FICO (credit) score. One of the homes had some obvious repair issues and my buyers outlined what they had already factored into the offer.
Terms- I ask my buyers the same terms I like to see as a listing agent. 30 day escrow, 10 days to inspect the home and 17 days to get the loan approved. My goal is to have a tight but reasonable time frame and to keep all costs and fees as is customary for my area.
Personal Touch- many agents consider this a waste of time… but in a multiple offer situation the smallest advantage may be the one that take the house. On a recent listing my client received 4 offers. 2 of which were nearly identical in price and terms. My clients chose the buyers based on a personal letter and a picture, and I supported that choice because the buyer’s agent submitted a letter outlining her qualifications and commitment to closing escrow.
So, how do you win in a multiple offer situation? Don’t play games, prove it and be a human being- not just a business contract.