Last Updated: May 9, 2023

How to Make your Home Offer Stand Out

Written By: Barbara L. Pearce
Making an offer on a house tips

In today's competitive real estate market, making your house offer stand out is crucial to securing your dream home. With numerous buyers vying for limited inventory, it's essential to go the extra mile and make a lasting impression on sellers. Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, this guide will provide you with valuable tips and strategies to elevate your house offer above the rest. From crafting a compelling cover letter to offering flexible terms, we'll explore effective techniques that can help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of successfully landing the house of your dreams.

In previous articles, we've already discussed how to make your home listing stand out, but if you are an interested buyer, how do you help get your offer to the top of the pile? Here are some suggestions:

Table of Contents

Offer a Competitive Price

When making an offer on a house, it's important to be realistic and competitive with your offer price. Research the market and work with your real estate agent to determine a fair and competitive offer price. Aim to offer the amount you would be sorry to hear that someone else paid for the home. Forget about what you told the agent your top price was, or what you think you can get with some bargaining. Pay what the property is worth to you, and don't rethink it, as long as you can afford it.

Offering a competitive price is crucial, as if the house is priced too high, you risk overpaying and potentially losing money down the line, whereas if you offer too low, you risk losing the house to another buyer. Remember, you will save more with a lower interest rate than you will lose in a few thousand dollars toward the sales price.

Make your First Offer your Best

In today's competitive real estate market, it's crucial to make a strong initial offer as there may not be an opportunity for a counteroffer. If you find yourself in a multiple offer situation, submitting a low offer is likely to result in immediate rejection.

It’s essential to determine the maximum amount you're willing to pay for a property and make that your starting offer. By starting with your best offer, you increase the chances of securing the property and avoid the risk of losing it to another buyer who offers a more competitive price.

Avoid Trying to Renegotiate

If you go high with an early and enthusiastic offer, don't try to get some of it back during the inspection process. This is not just an investment, or an arms-length negotiation--it's where you plan to live, and you should let that emotion rule, within reason.

Find out your Seller’s Needs

Before submitting your offer, it's smart to gather information about the seller's needs. While every seller will have unique considerations, their ultimate goal is to receive the best possible offer for their property. To increase the chances of your offer being accepted, it's wise to address the seller's needs in your offer letter.

For instance, the seller may need to stay in the property for a specific period after closing or may be interested in leaving behind some furniture for a fee or free of charge. If you're open to accommodating such requests, it's vital to include them in your offer letter.

To gather the most accurate information, consider having your agent reach out to the listing agent before making an offer. This will allow you to learn about the seller's preferences and customize your offer to make it as attractive as possible. By addressing the seller's needs, you can make a compelling offer that stands out from the competition and increase your chances of securing your dream home.

Respond to Sellers Quickly

Another essential factor to consider when making an offer on a property is the importance of responding to the seller quickly. Once the seller is engaged in the process, you want to keep the momentum going by responding to their requests and queries as soon as possible. Delayed responses may create the impression that you're not interested in the property or that you're not serious about the purchase.

To avoid losing the seller's interest, it's crucial to sign or counteroffer as soon as you can. This not only shows the seller that you're committed to the purchase but also keeps the negotiation process moving forward. Additionally, being prompt in your responses demonstrates that you're a reliable and trustworthy buyer, which can work to your advantage in a competitive market.

Pre-approval for a mortgage

A pre-approval letter from a lender can be a strong indicator to the seller that you are a serious buyer and can afford the house. It shows that you have already been vetted by a lender and can move quickly with the closing process.

Fewer contingencies

Having no mortgage contingency doesn't mean that you can't get a mortgage, just that the sale isn't tentative until you have financing approval. Other contingencies that you can be flexible on--closing date, inspection requests, or other approvals--should be taken out of an offer, if possible. While some contingencies are necessary, try to limit the number of contingencies in your offer to make it more attractive to the seller.

Flexibility on closing dates

If the seller is in a hurry to close on the house, offering flexibility on the closing date can be a huge advantage. It shows that you are willing to work with the seller's schedule and can close quickly if needed.

Creative ways to make your home offer stand out

If you're really looking to stand out from the rest, consider including some creative items with your offer to show you are serious about the house. These creative ways to make your home offer stand out make your offer more appealing to the seller.

Offer to pay the seller's closing costs

One way to make your offer stand out is to offer to pay the seller's closing costs. This can be a significant expense for the seller and can make your offer more attractive. While it may increase the overall cost of the house, it can be worth it to secure the sale.

Add an escalation clause to your offer

An escalation clause is a contingency that allows you to automatically increase your offer if another buyer makes a higher bid. This shows the seller that you are willing to compete for the house and can help you stay ahead of other buyers.

Offer a rent-back agreement

If the seller needs more time to move out of the house after the closing date, offering a rent-back agreement can be a great way to make your offer more attractive. This agreement allows the seller to rent the house back from you for a certain period of time after the closing date. It can give the seller more time to move out and can make your offer more appealing.


Making your house offer stand out can be a challenge in a competitive housing market, but with the right strategy and creativity, it's possible. By following some of our creative ways to make your home offer stand out, you can make a strong impression on the seller. Remember, it's important to be strategic, flexible, and creative to make a strong impression on the seller, and it always helps to have a knowledgeable realtor on your side. Happy house hunting!

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Pearce Real Estate is a full-service real estate company for Greater New Haven and Middlesex counties.  Check out the many real estate buying services that we provide, both in-house, as well as through our partners and affiliates.

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