How to make a winning offer on a house

Amy Hamilton-Chadwick
How to make a winning offer on a house
Low listings and hordes of keen buyers – competition is fierce in the property market.

Low listings and hordes of keen buyers – competition is fierce in the current property market.

House-hunting is stressful enough without continually losing out on homes to better offers. So what can you do, beyond simply paying over the odds, to make your real estate offer more attractive to vendors? 

 

The price needs to be right 

The only way to be in the running is to make an offer that’s at least close to the highest offer.

Calculating that number can be extremely difficult in a heated market, because everyone will have their own ideas about what a house is worth.  

The best you can do is to watch recent sales closely, walk through as many properties as possible and know what they’re selling for – be as prepared as you can, says Bindi Norwell, CEO of REINZ.

In-depth market knowledge means you can price your offer as accurately as possible.

It should also teach you to identify when a house is well out of your price range, so you’re not wasting your time.  

 

Cleaner offers 

With several offers in front of them, how do vendors choose?

It’s not only about price; the simpler your offer is, the more likely it will be accepted.

The two main complicating factors like needing to sell your own house first and needing to arrange finance.

Having your old house sold and your finance sorted means your offer is more appealing.

Vendors have been known to accept clean offers that are tens of thousands of dollars lower than those conditional on the sale of another property, for instance.  

“You want to make your offer as clean as possible while still keeping yourself covered,” says Norwell.

“Identify your non-negotiables then remove unnecessary clauses that may discourage vendors.”  

Settlement date can be another way to tailor your offer to suit the vendor: “Do they want a quick sale, for instance? If you can position your offer with a shorter settlement that might be a winning bid.” 

Auctions make it harder to set yourself apart as a buyer, and they can be nerve-wracking, so attending one in advance can help you feel more confident.

One way to improve your chances is to put in a preauction offer: “That could bring the auction forward, lowering the pool of potential purchasers because some people won’t have their finance lined up.”  

 

Keeping the FOMO under control 

In a busy market you might feel anxious about missing out, but don’t let FOMO rush you into a bad decision.

It’s vital to be aware of the conditions of sale and of any red flags like unconsented work, vulnerability to flood, quake damage or leaks.

And try to resist the temptation to overstretch yourself financially, which is risky and leaves you financially vulnerable.  

“It’s really frustrating to keep missing out on properties,” says Norwell, “but don’t be disheartened. Be in tune with the market, get good advice and stick to your price limit.”   

 

Related articles:

5 tips for house-hunting in a hectic market

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