6 tips on how to win a bidding war

Strategies for Buyers to use in Multiple Offer Situations

1) Have Your Preapproval Letter ready

If you qualify, you can get a mortgage preapproval before you start shopping for a home. Note that prequalification and preapproval are different. Prequalification is an estimate of the loan amount based on verbal confirmation of your income and often relies on self-reported details about your personal finances.

A preapproval, on the other hand, offers a precise mortgage amount based on your documents such as bank statements, credit score etc. It's important to remember that this initial approval of your finances is just a first step – your ability to close on your home loan will still depend on passing underwriting, which is a more rigorous vetting process.

2) Write a Personal Letter to the Seller

You can increase your chances of winning a bidding war by including a personal letter to the seller with your offer. This costs nothing but can leave a lasting impression on the seller. 

Include a few details about yourself. One of the biggest benefits of including a personal letter with your offer is you can give the seller an idea of who you are as a person. Introduce yourself and your family in the opening body of your letter. This makes your offer more personal than just a set of numbers and can help the seller remember you when it’s time to choose an offer.

Write about the property details you love. Let the seller know exactly why you want to buy their home.

Explain your offer if it’s low. Use your personal letter to explain why you might be submitting an offer that’s on the lower end or below the seller’s asking price. This way, your seller knows that you aren’t simply attempting to lowball them. You never know which seller might sympathize with the stress of childcare costs or medical bills.

3) set up a Pre-Inspection of the home

As the market is getting busier, you may feel the pressure to drop conditions to make your offer more favourable. That doesn't necessary mean you need to drop a home inspection altogether. There are some inspectors in Kingston, ON who offer pre-inspections during the period between listing and offer day. This is typically an hour long inspection that is quite thorough, however, instead of a full written report, you receive a verbal report. This is still a fantastic way to go as it's less expensive and you will feel much more confident should you decide to move forward with an offer. Ask your realtor in Kingston for a recommendation.

4) accommodate the Seller's desired closing day

If you are able to remain flexible with your closing date and give the Seller their desired closing date, then you will definitely improve your chances of winning. Some sellers have already purchased their next home and have a fixed date in mind, with no flexibility. Do your best to accommodate!

5) Offer a Higher Deposit

If you are serious about purchasing a home in the Kingston area, it's important to show that in your offer. By increasing the deposit, you show the sellers that you are that much more interested and confident about closing the deal as you stand to lose more money should it fall through.

6) go in with a Strong Price

If you are keen on a house, you should go in with your best foot forward and offer a strong price. Although the highest offer isn’t always the one that the Seller chooses, money does talk.

Under no circumstances should you throw caution to the wind and ignore your budget. Bidding wars can get emotional, but you must be able to walk away, secure in the knowledge that you gave it your best shot and that there will be other homes that will fit your criteria.

How can you tell how much competition you have for a home? Ask your real estate agent to get in contact with the seller’s listing agent, who should have some key insights. Your real estate agent can also use local housing market data to help you strike the perfect balance between saving money and securing your home with a strategic final offer.

kim purcell

I have been working as a Realtor in Kingston for over 6 years now and work under the Sutton Group Masters Realty Inc., Brokerage. I especially like working with first-time buyers, first-time sellers and clients interested in buying or selling condominiums in the area. I was born and raised in Kingston and know the city and local real estate market very well. If you are considering a move , please reach out to me by phone or email and I will answer any real estate questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!

Kim Purcell - Kingston Real Estate Agent

1650 Bath Road

Kingston, ON K7M 4X6