It's a crazy competitive market for buyers out there...
Properties are going quickly for over asking in multiple offers - how can you and your agent present yourselves to be the one who GETS the house?
Here are a few tips that have worked for me and my clients:
1) GET YOUR LOAN PRE-APPROVAL!
I put this in all caps because it's just that important. If you're thinking, "oh, our finances are fine, let's just find the house we want and then we'll talk to a lender..." You'll NEVER even get in the door with that approach. In this market many sellers are asking for pre-approval letters to be submitted with the offers - not after. Pre-approval isn't expensive or difficult, but, it can take a few days - and those are days you will not have if you've found the house of your dreams. (I work with some excellent lenders who can help you with this - please reach out if you'd like some help with this.)
2) Write a catchy letter to the seller.
In your offer, your realtor will likely also include a letter on your behalf, but, no one can capture your own feelings as well as you can. Write one yourself and give to your agent to submit as well. Tell the seller a little about you and your family, why you love the house, and how you can see yourselves living in it. (Note - this approach isn't 'necessary in all deals, but, when it's a resident of the house selling to someone who wants to live in that house, this kind of letter can be very powerful.)
3) Preview the house at least once before making an offer.
To many sellers, their house is their castle - and they want to sell it to someone who they think loves it as much as they do. So GO to the open houses - make your interest and passion for the property known.
4) Find out what terms the seller cares most about.
This is a job for your realtor, but it's worth talking to them about it. Make sure your realtor knows what the seller is looking for in offers. Is money their primary objective? Or a short escrow? Or the ability to live in the house while they find their next one? It's often a combination of factors but if you know them, it's easier to try to accommodate the seller's wishes.
So these are just a couple ideas of things that have worked for me in representing my clients recently. If you have any questions or if there's any way that I can help you, please don't hesitate to contact me.
In the meantime - good luck out there!