Last Updated: March 31, 2021

Tips For Making Your Multiple Offer Stick

Written By: Barbara L. Pearce
a man and a woman sitting by a fire in the snow with a house with lights on behind them

As has been reported in all kinds of media, there is somewhat of a feeding frenzy going on with real estate in Connecticut. Some of it is outmigration from NY, some is outmigration from cities to suburbs, some is pandemic-related need for more space indoors and out, and some has to do with interest rates and deferred spending. The result is chaos, as people try to purchase properties that are receiving multiple offers within days of going onto the market, many over the asking price. If you are an interested buyer, how do you help get your offer to the top of the pile? Here are some suggestions:

1. Eliminate as many contingencies as possible. 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;

2. Don't wait to respond. Once sellers are engaged in the process, you want them to move quickly to pick you. In order to aid in that, you should sign or counter as soon as you can;

3. Consider writing a letter. Say what you like about the house, what you can imagine doing there (raising a family comes to mind), give reasons for the sellers to choose you. Tug at their heartstrings;

4. Get all of your checks and approvals in on time. Dragging the process out, especially when there are viable backup offers, is dangerous. Remember, to you this may be about you, but to the sellers, it's about them and their timeline;

5. 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;

6. Don't sweat the small stuff. Arguing over the fireplace set or the pool equipment may turn the sellers off, and hurt you down the line;

7. And here's our cardinal rule: 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. You will save more with a lower interest rate than you will lose in a few thousand dollars toward the sales price.

Happy hunting!

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