March 14, 2022

How to make your offer stand out in a hot market.

all expert tips

Jacee Monsalve

How to make your offer stand out in a hot market.

Speaking as a listing agent, when I list a home for sale, I usually have multiple offers and they often start to look the same. Sometimes, I have to go as far as to put the general details of each offer into a spreadsheet for my sellers to be able to digest them all.

That being said, when there are a lot of similar offers, there are really only a handful of items we focus on.


We all want a deal when buying a house, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. When we receive an offer below asking price, that offer essentially gets thrown into the trash. A best practice here is to put your best foot forward, and offer the most, or close to the most you are willing to pay. At least give yourself a chance.

Appraisal contingency

With some houses, we know we are going to be able to sell them for more than their appraised value. In this situation, we don’t care if your offer is $1,000,000 over the asking price. If you have an appraisal contingency, the price in your offer does not carry any weight since we know we can usually find a buyer who is willing to pay over the appraised value.

As long as you comfortably have enough down payment money, it would be wise to agree to pay up to a certain amount over the appraised value.

Escalation clauses

Using an escalation clause is a fantastic strategy that we highly recommend you focus on in your offer. An escalation clause is an offer to pay a certain amount more than the best offer received, up to a certain value. In practice it looks like this:

A really nice home lists for $400k. You submit an offer of $410k. Another buyer offers $420k. Usually, the $420k offer sounds better here. But in your offer for $410k, you put in an escalation clause saying that you will pay $1,000 more than the best offer received with a maximum price of $430k. In this situation, your offer would now be the best offer at $421,000.

This protects you from losing the house to a higher offer, but also sets a cap on how high the price can get.

The letter

Some buyers create letters with a picture of themselves or their family and include it with their offer. The letter usually has a little background about them and says how excited they are to be able to move into that particular home. Sellers absolutely love these letters and it can make all the difference. We usually have our sellers agree to let us hold these letters back, so that they can make a smart financial decision instead of an emotional one.

We actually had a seller with two offers within $5,000 of eachother end up selecting the $5,000 less offer strictly because of one of these letters.

Get your offer accepted. Work with an agent who has been there before. Call today or fill out the form here to get in touch.



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