What makes an offer competitive?

Updated 7 months ago ​by Aneesah Emeka

Buying in a hot market? Here are ways to get your offer accepted if you're competing against multiple offers. 

1. Be faster.

  • Sign up for alerts to get emails or push notifications when new listings match your search criteria.
  • Don’t wait for an open house. Visit listings as soon as possible.
  • Have your financial documentation and loan pre-approval ready to go.
  • Put in early offers (called "pre-emptive" offers) on good properties before others see them. 

2. Make your offer stand out

  • Write an offer letter. It may feel strange baring your soul, but it's effective. 
  • Pay for some of the seller's closing costs
  • Ensure that your offer is clean and well-packaged. 
  • If you can, make an all-cash offer. They're more attractive than loans, which take time and must be approved by a lender.
  • Faster timelines and removal of contingencies help, but come with their own pitfalls. 
  • Start with your best and final price, and make that known in the offer. 

3. Search counterintuitively. 

  • Find inventory that’s distressed, and fix it up yourself. 
  • Make lower offers on homes that have been sitting on the market for a while. 
  • Look at land, new construction & alternative property types. 
  • Search for FSBO (for sale by owner) properties, auction.com and go to home auctions. 
  • Look at criteria outside your typical searches.