Guide to winning a bidding war when buying a home

Male real estate agent hands counting money

Buying a home can without a doubt be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially when you find yourself in a bidding war. Thoughts such as, what if I’m paying too much, or is it even worth it will appear. In these situations, it’s important to know what to do. However, with the right strategy and preparation, you can come out on top and secure your dream home. In this guide below, we’ll share some tips and tricks to help you navigate a bidding war.

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Before you start house hunting, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important. This will not only help you determine your budget, but it can also give you an advantage in a bidding war. Sellers are more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who has been pre-approved for a mortgage. Plus, having a pre-approval letter in hand shows that you’re serious about buying and have the financial means to do so. In other words, shows the person you care for and are serious about the house. It differentiates you, as many people don’t have this in hand, and the ones that do are at an advantage.

Mortgage application loan agreement and house key

2. Set your budget and stick to it

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a bidding war and start bidding more than you can afford. To avoid this, set your budget before you start house hunting and stick to it.

Remember, buying a home is a long-term investment, and you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. A good and popular rule of thumb is to aim for a monthly mortgage payment that is no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay. Additionally, something that is important, as you may not afford it in the first place, you gotta think if it’s even worth it or not.

3. Make a strong offer

When making an offer, it’s important to make it as strong as possible. This means offering a higher price, including a larger down payment, and having as few contingencies as possible. This allows the sellers to be intrigued, as commonly people will lowball in hopes of decreasing the seller’s value.

A strong offer can help you stand out from other buyers and increase your chances of winning the bidding war. However, once again make sure you’re not offering more than the home is worth or more than you can realistically afford.

4. Be flexible with your closing date

Sellers often have their timeline for closing, and being flexible with your closing date can give you an advantage in a bidding war. If you’re set on a specific date, it may be hard to find anyone at all. If you can accommodate the home selling‘s timeline, they may be more willing to accept your offer over others. However, make sure you’re not putting yourself in a bind by agreeing to a closing date that doesn’t work for you.

5. Work with an experienced real estate agent

This one is a bit less popular but massively helps. An experienced real estate agent can be a greatly useful and valuable resource in a bidding war. They can help you navigate the process, make a strong offer, and negotiate on your behalf. Make sure to choose an agent who has experience in your local market and has a track record of success. A good agent will additionally be able to provide you with insights into local market trends and help you determine the fair market value of a home.

6. Research the neighborhood

Before making an offer on a home, take the time to research the neighborhood. This includes looking at the crime rate, school district, and nearby amenities such as parks, restaurants, and shopping centers. Knowing more about the neighborhood can help you make a more informed decision and determine if the home is worth the investment.

House selection criteria concept on wooden pieces

7. Don’t Get Too Emotionally Attached

It’s easy to fall in love with a home and get emotionally attached, especially during a bidding war. However, it’s important to remember that a home is a financial investment first and foremost. So once again, don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment or cause you to overspend one bit.


In conclusion, handling a bidding war when buying a home can be challenging, but with the right strategy and preparation, you can come out on top. Remember to get pre-approved for a mortgage, set your budget and stick to it, make a strong offer, be flexible with your closing date, work with an experienced real estate agent, research the neighborhood, and don’t get too emotionally attached. Good luck on your home-buying journey!