As everyone knows, the real estate market is red hot right now—especially for sellers. If you’re a buyer, this means you might have to compete against other offers once you find a home you like. Here are a few tips you can use to make your offer stronger in this situation.

First, submit a large earnest money deposit. This is the initial deposit you’ll give to the seller once your offer gets accepted. You typically want to deposit at least 3% down. This will show the seller that you’re serious and you have the money to back up your offer.

“Presenting a strong offer right out of the gate will give you the best chance to win.”

Second, show the seller you’re qualified to buy. You’ll want to have a pre-approval letter, but you can take it a step further by getting a full loan commitment letter, which verifies that your loan has already been underwritten and approved.

Third, give the seller time to move. Many sellers in our market are selling their property with the intention of moving into a new home, so they may be caught without a place to live once their property sells. If you wrote your offer and said that you would be willing to rent the property back for however long they need to find a new home, that will put you a step ahead of the other buyers.

Fourth, shorten or waive some of your contingency periods if you can. Having the least amount of contingency periods or shortening them will make you look stronger if you can pull that off.

Finally, write your best offer. A common strategy for sellers is to list the property lower than what they think it will sell for. That means the difference between the list price and the final sale price can be anywhere from 5% to 10%. When writing your offer, you don’t want to count on getting a counteroffer. Presenting a strong offer right out of the gate will give you a much better chance of getting your offer selected.

There are many other details that come into play during a home sale, so if you have any questions or are planning on buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help.