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How to Win a Bidding War

Two kids having a pillow fight on a bed

You’ve found the right home and you’ve put in an offer. Then you hear from your real estate agent. It looks like there are multiple offers on the property, and you might be entering a bidding war. This scenario is experienced by many North Carolina buyers, as inventory struggles to meet demand in a hot housing market, and it’s especially common for first-time buyers who often face a highly competitive “starter home” market. Don’t panic, you can win a bidding war without spending every penny you have. Read on to learn a few smart ways to craft a winning bid, so you can get your dream home without going broke!

Make Sure You are Preapproved
When there are multiple offers on the table, a preapproval letter from a lender is a must. Different from a prequalification, a preapproval tells the seller that you have a lender who is already agreeing to provide financing for your purchase. While you may not have the best offer on the table, if offers come in higher than yours without a preapproval letter, your offer could rise to the top.

Be Flexible on Your Closing Date
Home sellers are often also buyers themselves, and buying a home while selling another can be very stressful. If you find yourself in a bidding war, consider being flexible on your closing date. Alleviating stress for the seller could be worth its weight in gold, and giving the seller some wiggle room to choose the closing date (either sooner, or later) might help make your offer more attractive, even if it isn’t the highest offer on the table.

Write a Letter
While a home purchase is a financial transaction, is it also an emotional time for most sellers. After all, homeowners spend a lot of time in their homes putting down roots and making memories. With many offers coming in on a property, set your offer apart with a personal letter to the seller telling them how much you love the home, what you love about it and why you think it would be the perfect home for you. Many sellers want to sell their home to buyers who will love the home as much as they did, and a letter might just be the tiebreaker you need to win the bidding war.

While bidding wars are common in today’s fast-paced real estate market, it’s important to remember not to spend more on a home than you can afford. The NC Housing Finance Agency offers affordable mortgage products, down payment assistance and Mortgage Credit Certificates to help make home ownership more affordable for North Carolinians statewide. Learn more about all the ways the NC Housing Finance Agency can help make home ownership happen for you at