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Preparing Yourself for A Home Bidding War

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

I’ve been involved with many high-demand/low-inventory scenarios in real estate, often referred to as “hot” markets. Today, in our area, we seem to have gone well past that. At least for the moment, many if not most homes in Reno & Sparks are receiving multiple offers within a matter of days. I recently wrote a full price offer on a nice little house near a park and later discovered my buyer’s offer was one of 22, we did not get that home. Of course, this is not news to current, active buyers searching in virtually every price range in our area. If you’re one of these buyers or thinking you may become one soon, this will likely help. Here are a few prevailing thoughts to keep in mind based upon my recent experience.

· It helps to have the right temperament: This is a process not an event and gone are the days when one can “take some time to think about it”. Many buyers find themselves making one of the biggest or THE biggest decision in their lives over a matter of minutes. Regardless as to whether your offer is accepted or not, it can be emotionally draining. On one hand, it’s disappointing to get your hopes up only to lose-out on a nice home. On the other, buying a home after spending 30 – 45 quality minutes in the property (or sometimes sight-unseen) often leads to buyer’s remorse. Regardless, it can be an OH SH*T! moment if not thought through carefully.

· You must be available and/or willing to take risks: My local buyers tend to take a lot of long lunches right now, waiting for the weekend is pretty much out of the question in most cases. Thanks to the fact that we all carry movie cameras in our pockets, couples often empower one another with their permission to make the decision alone should one be unavailable. Out-of-town buyers are not as lucky and often base their decisions upon MLS photos and their agent’s walking video tour. While this may sound crazy to some people, it has been the case for me in numerous transactions this past year.

· Knowledge of the area is vital: This requires some up-front planning and I recommend taking several trips through your neighborhood(s) of choice. Don’t think of this activity as house-hunting, think of it as a fact-finding mission. At this phase you should focus on the overall desirability the neighborhood(s) which will differ from buyer-to-buyer. School zoning, commute times and HOA amenities are just a few considerations but do decide for yourself in advance, you probably won’t have time to investigate during the negotiation.

There are many more considerations for home buyers, not the least of which is selecting a good team to assist you. If you enjoyed this conversation please go to 7 Tips For Buying a Home In a Hot Market.

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