Smart Spending

Strategies for Bidding on a House

When you are ready to bid on a house, there are several clever steps you can take to give you a greater advantage. While these steps are certainly not a guarantee that you will be able to get the lowest price you want, these steps often work to help get better prices. Here are some things you need to use in your strategies for bidding on a house.

One of the most important things you can do, which is often overlooked by many, is to be careful not to show your own reactions to the house in a positive way. In other words, wear a poker face. Showing your delight in a particular home is not going to help you get a lower price; in fact, it will probably embolden the owner or Realtor to keep his price high if they feel that you want it bad enough.

Perform Thorough Research Before Bidding on a House

In order to get an owner to be willing to reduce their price, it is important that you can prove that other similar properties have sold for less than what the owner is asking. mentions that it is also a good idea to know whether or not the owner has reduced their price since listing it, and how long it has been on the market. The longer it has been on the market probably means that they are more anxious to sell it – especially if they are not living in it at the present time.

Eliminate Contingencies

Whenever contingencies are used, it is apt to raise a flag for the buyer. This could make another buyer’s offer look a lot better if there are minimal or no contingencies in place on their bids. A common contingency is the sale of an existing home. Terri Cullen at the Wall Street Journal suggests that if you can afford two mortgages while your house is selling, you would be better off if your strategy for bidding on a house had no contingencies attached to your offer.

Remove the Possibility of Bidding Wars

Given enough time, an excellent offer can be wasted if someone is willing to make a slightly higher offer. You can reduce this possibility by including in your bid on a house a limited reaction time to your bid, which will cause the seller to want to move quickly or miss out on a sure sale. In the same Wall Street Journal article I discussed before, it mentions that one potential buyer had lost bids on three homes before putting in a new one on another house they really liked. This time she went directly to the seller and hand-delivered an offer – and gave them only three hours to respond. Not surprisingly – they won the bid!

When Ready to Buy, Mention What You Like about the House

Home owners have their pride wrapped up in their home and they often want to see it go to someone who will raise a family just like they did in that house. This creates a common bond and often ensures the seller that someone with similar interests wants it – and this can create a desire to sell it to certain types of people who are like-minded.

Have Your Agent Prepared with Multiple Bids

When bids are hand-delivered, having more than one bid ready will help you to win the bidding on a house war quickly. This can be especially valuable where property moves fast, says Ellen James Martin in an article at This also enables you to be able to counter other offers immediately.