Can buyers mow down competing offers?

(Flickr photo by Martin Cathrae)

No one likes what buyers like to call a bidding war.  I like to call it competing bids.  Just like in an auction.

Whether the listing broker acknowledges a bidding “war” — some sales agents won’t suggest the situation in order to avoid discouraging interested buyers — a prospective purchaser may well want to mow down any current or future competition with an offer that the seller can’t refuse.

The first impulse is bound to center on a tempting price.

Given that most asking prices these days leave room for sellers to negotiate down, even meeting that number amounts to a good offer.  Higher is even better, but forget about a token $1,000: When the seller and agent stop chortling, they’ll likely wonder about the sagacity of the other side and begin to doubt its worthiness.

Of course, it always is beneficial to the seller for the offer to omit contingencies — home inspection, appraisal or financing are likely candidates.  But foolish is the buyer who neglects to consider the costs of discovering unknown electrical issues, a short appraisal or a persnickety loan underwriter, among other issues.

Another thing: Save for later any special requests such as inclusion of that big TV on the wall, that crystal chandelier in the dining room or that unit that only looks as though it is attached to the wall.  Another no-no in my view, but not everyone’s, is to set a deadline for acceptance —  not in this market.

Perhaps the single most important tactic buyers can adopt is furnishing sellers with enough financial information to demonstrate convincingly that the buyer has all the resources necessary to close the transaction without a hitch.  If the buyer’s assets include real estate yet to be sold, or even if the property already is under contract, forget about making a winning offer that blows other bidders out of the water.

The bottom line is that buyers seeking to obliterate other offers have little choice but to relinquish virtually all power to the sellers.

If nothing else, the strategy proves that the buyer is highly motivated.  In itself, that is a compelling component of any offer meant to defeat the competition.

Tomorrow: Look here!

To take your own bite out of the Big Apple, you have the option to search all available properties privately.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site

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