The SECRETS of WINNING a bidding war in a competitive market like Seattle

How to get into a house you love in a competitive market like Seattle.

Seattle is HOT. We've had the highest rate of bidding wars than ANY OTHER city! So, how do you compete? Chris Lord of Caliber Home Loans and I reveal the SECRETS of winning a bidding war in a competitive market like Seattle. 


BE Confident in your lending and pre approval letter

  • Make sure your lender and financing is GOOD to go. 
  • Be confident in your LENDER and pre-approval letter. This is huge. The last thing you want is your transaction failing or getting delayed due to financing.
  • Make sure you're with a reputable lender, they have experience, and shop around.


  • This is a great way to ensure you don't over pay. 
  • An escalation clause protects you - for example:
    • If a house is on the market for $500,000 but you're willing to pay $550,00 and your escalator goes up in increments of $2,000- if the second best offer is $520,000, you would WIN at $522,00 and NOT have to go all in at $550,000. Make sense?

Limit contingencies

  • Limit the amount of contingencies your offer has (inspection, financing, title, etc)...

  • I never recommend waiving EVERYTHING - but sometimes, you do need to sacrifice contingencies in order to get the deal done. 

  • One way to protect you from a huge issue is getting a pre-inspection done. 

  • A pre-inspection is essentially an inspection BEFORE you submit the offer. You do pay for it (a couple hundred dollars) and it's important to get it done as soon as possible.

  • Financing as well - if you NEED to waive financing, then make sure that you're VERY VERY confident in your lender and you've been pre-underwritten.

have a good team on your side

  • Probably the MOST IMPORTANT you can do is make sure you have a full time REALTOR and LENDER on your side.

  • You want to make sure you can see the house ASAP when it comes on the market - especially in this market. If you miss out on just one day, you could miss out on the house.

  • You also want to make sure you have a realtor that can help craft an offer that will actually get chosen. There are strategies I like to use -- but truly it's determining what's important to the sellers (letter, rent-back) and where are the other offers coming in on. 

If ALL ELSE FAILS, submit a back up offer

  • There's still a chance - sometimes offers don't go through. Cold feet, financing fails, etc. It DOES happen!

  • You DON'T want to HEAR about this happening and the house coming back on the market - why not have a back up offer?

  • This goes back to having a good team on your side. MAKE SURE your realtor is following a long with everything you put an offer on and suggesting the back-up offer if it could fit.

Are you thinking about starting your home buying journey? Reach out, we can help you. 

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