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10 Tips For Dominating Bidding Wars in a Cutthroat Bay Area Market

Demand for homes in San Jose is high. According to Refin, 73% of homes sell above list price. That’s a 31 pt increase over last year at this time.

Welcome to the battlefield, Bay Area Realtors. As you can see in the data above, we are once again faced with low inventory and multiple offers. In this unforgiving arena, winning a bidding war is not just a skill; it’s a ruthless art. You need to be unapologetically tough, relentless, and shrewd.

Below are 10 tips to help you get the upper hand:

  • Cut the Slack: Pre-Approval is Non-Negotiable. Let’s not mince words; in this game, weak players get crushed. Ensure your clients have a rock-solid pre-approval letter. No exceptions.
  • Strike Like Lightning, but Strike True: In the Bay Area, speed can be your best ally. But don’t mistake it for recklessness. Research the property, assess its value and act decisively.
  • No Place for Low-ballers: Before making an offer, know the market inside and out. Advising your client to make the strongest offer they can demonstrates their commitment and minimizes the risk of being brushed aside.
  • Your Offer: Craft it to Crush It: Your client’s offer should be a weapon of mass seduction. It’s not always about offering the most money; it’s about terms. Fewer contingencies and no strings attached. Your offer should shout “We mean business”.
  • Find out the Seller’s Needs: Understanding motivation can be a game-changer. What do they value? What are their needs and desires? Tailor your offer to hit the bullseye. This might mean giving them extra time to move or covering their moving costs. What sets you apart from the competition?
  • Get Personal, Get Real: In a market where everyone pursues the same dream, a personal touch can be your secret weapon. Encourage your clients to write a heartfelt letter to the seller. It may sound cliche, but it works. Tell them why you want the house and why you’re the perfect match.
  • Flexibility is Your Trump Card: In a bidding war, being inflexible is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. If your clients can align with the seller’s preferred closing and possession dates, you gain an edge. Do they need an extra day or two for moving?
  • Network: Realtors with strong relationships are top dogs. Forge alliances with listing agents. These connections can offer valuable insights into the sellers mindset and sometimes, it’s about who you know.
  • Show Me the Money: A substantial earnest money deposit speaks volumes about the clients’ commitment. It’s not just a deposit; it’s a message to the seller. “We are in this to win”.
  • Escalation Clauses: Walk the Tightrope. These clauses can be your ally or your downfall. Use them cautiously, as they can push your clients to their financial limit if not managed properly.

Conclusion: Crush or Be Crushed. In the Bay Area’s real estate war zone, only the fittest survive. To succeed on this battleground, you must be tough, smart, and market-savvy. It’s time to dominate the Bay Area real estate game or risk getting left in the dust.