How to Win a Bidding War in a Hot Housing Market

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If you’re shopping for a house in the Washington DC metro, (one of the country’s hottest real estate markets) the supply of houses is low and demand is extremely high — you may find yourself in a bidding war, with multiple offers pushing the price of your dream home ever higher. Add low mortgage rates into the mix, and buying a home can feel like you’re in the middle of a fierce battle to win the house you love.

The best move you can make before writing any offers is to hire an experienced, professional real estate agent. Having someone on your side who knows and understands the local market — can guide you through tough negotiations, which gives you heavy backup when entering a bidding war.

Below we’ve listed a few key points on how to win a bidding war in a hot housing market.

1. Get a preapproval letter from your lender

Getting pre-qualified confirms your income and how much a bank might be willing to lend you based on your credit profile, isn’t the same as having pre-approval for a specific purchase offer. You’ll have a better chance of beating out other buyers by including a letter from your bank stating that your lender has underwritten your application and it’s simply pending appraisal.

By doing this, you can move quickly when you find the home you want, and avoid the stress of submitting pre-approval paperwork and writing an offer at the same time.

2. Limit the contingencies

Sellers usually have the upper hand in a multi-bid situation, and they want offers that are direct and to the point. If there are other bids coming in and you really want a home, avoid putting in too many contingencies or making too many demands.

3. Write a ‘love letter’ to the seller

With so much competition out there, sometimes appealing to the heart can make your offer stand out. As a buyer, try writing a heartfelt letter to the sellers explaining why they want the house. Even add a couple of photos with you and your kids or pets.

Also, what’s important is your online reputation. Most good seller’s agents will Google potential buyers to see if they’ve been in a lot of conflicts or if they have a stable job and will be good neighbors.


These are just a few ways of how to win a bidding war in a hot housing market. If you’re thinking of purchasing a home, contact us today and talk to a real estate professional!

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The Keri Shull Team can meet any of your real estate needs – whether it’s your first time buying, you’re an experienced property investor, planning to sell, or even looking to rent. Contact us today!

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