You’re now more likely than not to pay above list price — and to face others willing to do the same.
So what are frustrated would-be homebuyers supposed to do?
Agents and home seekers who have been through the process recently offered their advice:
• Adjust your expectations: Be prepared to see the list price as a floor, not a ceiling. If the advertised price is already at the very top of your price range, you might not want to waste your time. And a cheaper place, perhaps in a different neighborhood, that might have been in the lower end of your price range might actually wind up close to your peak budget by the time the auction is over.
• Be aggressive: Tour a house as soon as you can and get your offer in quickly; some sell just hours or days after hitting the market. Have a home inspector on standby. Bring paperwork to tours proving you’re preapproved for a mortgage.
• Use sweeteners: If you can, add in a large cash deposit and promise to close quickly; some buyers even prefer offers with those conditions over a slightly larger overall bid.
• Get personal: Ensure your agent makes a relationship with the seller’s representative so you don’t get lost in a pile of offers. Write a personal note or create a flyer with pictures.
• Be a quick study: Assume you’re going up against multiple bidders who have already been through the process and are becoming increasingly desperate. Notice what tactics they use and study the market intensely.
• Use an agent: Looking on your own or using sites like Zillow & Redfin put your behind by 3-5 days.
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/tips-for-surviving-the-house-bidding-battle/By Mike Rosenberg