3 Ways to Write a Winning Offer

Couple buying their new house

When you’re searching for a new home, especially in a seller’s market, you may find you have to compete with multiple offers on the same listing. Over the past few years, we’ve seen up to 20-30 offers on a home, and it got a little cutthroat, but good news, it has eased up a bit.

But, although the number of multiple offers has decreased, the interest rates are rising, so people are not only looking for homes in a low-inventory market, but they’re feeling desperate to lock in a mortgage.

The good news is that if you’re a buyer struggling to find a home while inventory is down and mortgage rates are up,  there are other ways to compete in this housing market.

As a real estate professional with nearly 20 years in the business, I can help you create a compelling offer that will get you your dream home – without breaking the bank!

Writing the highest offer certainly gets attention, but sellers consider several factors when reviewing an offer. So let me tell you a few ways I can help you beat the competition.

  1. Put Down a Significant Deposit

If you’re serious about the house and the offer, you can show sellers by putting down a large earnest money deposit.

Earnest money, or good faith deposit, is a sum of money you put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. In many cases, earnest money acts as a deposit on the property you’re looking to buy.

If the purchase goes through, the earnest money is applied to the down payment and closing costs. If the purchase doesn’t go through, know that you may lose some or all of that deposit.

I will help you determine what amount would be best for your earnest money deposit.


  1. Proof of Solid Financing

We know that sellers love all-cash offers because it eliminates financing issues coming up at the tail end, but if you don’t have all cash, don’t worry. Only 1 in 4 home purchases are all-cash, and most home purchases are financed with a mortgage.* (National Association of Realtors)

If you can demonstrate that you’re financially secure, it will assure the sellers that you’re serious about the home and can afford it. The best way to do this is to get a preapproval letter from the bank showing that you will be able to make good on your offer. In today’s market, a preapproval letter is a must.

I work with reputable and experience lenders who will work with you to get this done as soon as possible.

  1. Watch the Contingencies

Ask for few or no contingencies. Contingencies are clauses that allow one or both parties to back out of the agreement if certain conditions aren’t met. The contingencies will appear in the purchase agreement and must be accepted by both the seller and buyer.

Some common contingencies are:

  1. Financing – this gives the buyer time to secure a mortgage. If they’re unable to do this, they can withdraw from the contract.
  2. Sale of a Prior Home – Many buyers can’t afford the purchase of the new home unless they sell their current one. If they’re unable to sell their current home in a specified time period, they can withdraw from the contract.
  3. Appraisal – Most lenders won’t mortgage a home that costs more than it’s worth. This contingency allows the buyer the opportunity to get the home assessed to ensure that its value is at or above the sales price. If the appraisal comes in low, the seller may be asked to negotiate the sales price.
  4. Inspection – The buyer can have the home inspected for issues with plumbing, wiring, structure, and more. The seller might choose whether to fix the issue, but if they don’t, they buyer may withdraw from the contract.

The more contingencies the buyer has, the less desirable the offer is to the seller. Buyers in a competitive market, such as this one, may decide to waive certain contingencies, but as your agent, I will help you make this decision carefully and we’ll weigh the risks and benefits of waiving any contingencies.