Many parts of the Austin area are still seeing multiple offers on homes. One of the things people are most surprised about is we have seen homes with over 10 offers on them even in the suburbs!

Not every client feels comfortable using these tactics but we always want to make you aware of what options are available so you don’t have to say “If only I knew I could have done that…” when your dream home goes under contract to someone else.

We can’t guarantee you will win in a multiple offer situation but here are some tips we have learned over the years to improve your chances.

  • Have an experienced Realtor helping to explain these options
    One of the statistics that surprises people is how few homes the average Realtor sells in a year. Be sure to work with an experienced Realtor who can explain these options in more detail based on your particular situation.
  • Submit an offer on a contract form that is filled out completely
    This may seem obvious but you would not believe some of the offers we see on our listings. Recently we had a seller not even consider an offer from a buyer because the contract form was filled out so poorly.
  • Your agent should have great rapport with the listing agent
    A real estate transaction is like having a relationship with someone for 30-45 days. Your offer may get rejected if the listing agent is concerned that the buyer’s agent is unprofessional, unorganized or will be difficult to work with.
  • Offer your “No Regrets” amount of money
    Do you love the house or only like the house? We advise our clients to offer the most amount of money where if you find out the next day you lost out over $1 you would not regret that decision. Decide on a price where you have no regrets getting it or not getting it.
  • Find out if there is anything important to the seller
    Sometimes the financial part of a sale isn’t the most important thing to a seller. Your Realtor should ask the listing agent prior to submitting an offer if there is anything the seller would like to make their move easier.
  • If you visit an open house be excited about the home
    Introduce yourself to the listing agent and be excited about the home. This is not the time to ask questions that will make you seem picky or hesitant about the house. Often when there are multiple offers the financial aspects are similar and the seller may make a decision based on who is more likely to love the home. If you act hesitant or picky the seller may choose someone else.
  • Submit a cover letter and a video
    Tell the seller a little about yourself, specific features of the home you fell in love with and compliment the sellers as much as you can about what you have done to the home.
  • Have a financing letter from a well-respected mortgage company
    There are mortgage companies that have a great reputation for closing loans on time and there are mortgage companies that have a reputation for causing delays and being difficult to work with. Sometimes the most well-known mortgage companies to consumers have a terrible reputation within the real estate community. We have had listing agents tell us our client’s offer was accepted because the listing agent trusted their mortgage company.
  • Have your loan officer call the listing agent
    A phone call to the listing agent assuring that you are well qualified can be the difference if your offer is being compared to another buyer using a mortgage company the listing agent is not familiar with.
  • No financing contingency
    We see many offers submitted on our listings with a 28 day financing contingency. What this means is you are asking the seller to take their home off the market and choose your offer over another but you aren’t confident you can be approved for a mortgage in 28 days? If you feel the contingency is necessary you should definitely include it in your offer but that may hurt your chances of having your offer accepted.
  • Choose the best type of financing
    Some loans are more difficult to close and some loans may have lender require repaired repairs made to the property. If a seller has the choice between multiple offers and they are worried your lender will require repairs to be made to the home days before closing they may choose another offer.
  • No seller paid closing costs
    Sometimes there is no other way to make a deal work and that may be the best you can do. If you don’t need the seller to pay any of your closing costs it is better not to go that route. To a seller this may be a sign of financial weakness or cause concern that you will terminate a contract if a minor issue shows up on an inspection that you wouldn’t be able to pay for yourself after closing.
  • No option period, shorter option period or more option money
    Paying option money to have an option period gives you the right to terminate the contract for any reason during that time and have the earnest money refunded. In some cases you will be going against buyers who will not require an option period or will be offering a very short option period with a larger option money amount. More option money will make the seller feel that you are serious about completing the transaction. If you are submitting an offer with a short option period be sure to have an inspector lined up to complete an inspection as soon as possible.
  • Say your inspection is pass/fail
    When in a multiple offer situation the seller does not want to go under contract with a buyer who is going to be picky and come back to the seller to repair minor items. You may choose to communicate to the seller that your inspection is pass/fail meaning you won’t re-negotiate the contract during the option period.
  • Offer additional non-refundable money to the seller
    Even after the option period there may be several ways for a buyer to terminate a contract and have the earnest money refunded. As a sign that you are serious about completing the transaction you may want to offer additional non-refundable money to the seller after your option period when you are 100% sure about buying the home.
  • No appraisal contingency
    Sometimes we are seeing offers above what we expect the home will appraise for. In that case a seller will be concerned if the home does not appraise for the sales price you will want to terminate the contract or renegotiate. We see some buyers including in an offer they will pay the difference (sometimes limiting it to a certain amount) between the sales price and appraised value in cash. Think about this from a seller’s point of view. There is a big difference between saying you will pay $300,000 for a home or you will pay $300,000 unless it appraises for $290,000 in which I will only want to pay $290,000.
  • Offer the seller a lease back
    It has become more difficult to coordinate buying and selling homes at the same time. A seller may be more likely to accept your offer is you allow them to stay in the home for a period of time so they can move at a time more convenient for them.
  • Offer a quick closing
    Particularly if the home is vacant a quick close will be attractive to a seller. Some lenders are now requiring up to 60 days to close a loan. Other lenders are still able to close loans in under 30 days so make sure you are working with a mortgage company that will help your chances of getting an offer accepted.
  • Larger down payment
    Your down payment amount is part of the contract. To a seller a buyer with a larger down payment is more financially secure and has a better chance of closing the transaction.
  • More earnest money
    Earnest money is deposited with a title company as a sign of good faith that you will buy the home. A larger amount of earnest money may give the seller a better feeling about your offer. Usually earnest money is credited towards your down payment if that box is checked on your contract.
  • No seller paid residential service contract (home warranty)
    If you are asking the seller to pay for a home warranty you are essentially increasing the price and increasing the chance the home will not appraise for the sales price. You can always purchase a home warranty yourself.
  • Pay for the owner’s title policy
    In most contracts the seller pays for an owner’s title policy. By offering to pay for this as a buyer it is one way of giving the seller a financial incentive to accept your offer without raising the sales price and increasing the chance the home will not appraise for that amount. From a financial standpoint a seller should be concerned about how much money they will net and not the sales price.
  • Don’t ask for the refrigerator
    It can be tempting when if you are offering over list price to ask the seller to include the refrigerator or washer/dryer in your offer. Unless the listing says the seller is including those items it’s not worth it to ask for them in your offer. We have noticed our own seller clients react very negatively when there is an offer including the refrigerator.
  • If you lose dust yourself off and get back in the game
    Be resilient because there’s no crying in Austin real estate! In the Austin real estate market you have to approach a loss like a baseball relief pitcher that gave up a game winning home run. Don’t get frustrated and give up. Dust yourself off and get back at it the next day.

If you are considering buying real estate in the Austin area and you would like to talk about a strategy to win during a multiple situation offer please call/text me at 512-791-7473 or send an email to

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