Skip to main content

Buying real estate in a hot market can be challenging even for those with plenty of experience. Everyone (even your unemployed cousin) offers advice on how to “win the deal.” There is not one guaranteed formula for getting your offer accepted but an experience Realtor® who knows the market can provide tips to increase your odds.

These are my “Top 7” Tips for buyers in a hot real estate market. Note: I define HOT as more buyers than sellers and multiple offers on properties.

TIP 1: OFFER THE MOST MONEY YOU ARE WILLING/ABLE TO PAY

Pros:  By offering the most you are willing/able to pay you increase your chances of not missing out in case the seller does not want to counter offer.  Some buyers want to offer a little less than their max so they have room if there is a seller counter offer.  This can be a good strategy but can also back-fire.  One of my clients held back $10k on a recent offer and the seller accepted one of 7 other offers because he did not want to deal with counter offers.

Cons: By offering the most you are willing/able to pay you may not be able to increase your offer if the Seller sends a counter-offer.  This being said, sometimes other buyers back out during a counter-offer process since they do not want to get in a “bidding war.”  There is no rule that says you cannot come back with the same offer as you did initially and possibly still be the best offer.

TIP 2: PROVIDE A PRE-APPROVAL LETTER FROM YOUR LENDER

Pros:  The seller will feel more comfortable with your financing if you provide lender pre-APPROVAL letter instead of a pre-QUALIFICATION letter.    Pre-qualification estimates how much you may be able to borrow, based on a mostly informal evaluation of your finances. Pre-approval carries more weight and requires documentation (including credit reports).

Cons: This requires more work up-front for you and your lender.   A pre-qualification letter can generally be delivered by your lender in hours where a pre-approval letter can take up to two-weeks. 

TIP 3: OFFER TO PAY A SHORT APPRAISAL GAP

Pros: By offering to pay an appraisal gap, you are giving the seller a sense of security they will have a chance to get paid more than the appraisal if it came back lower than the agreed upon price. This is good insurance with your offer and often what separates the winning offers from the runner-up offers because it guarantees the seller a higher net price if the appraisal value is a concern.

Cons:  When you offer to cover an appraisal gap, you have to bring more money to closing than you may have originally anticipated.  The percentage down payment is calculated off of the appraised value so anything in the gap coverage is on top of the down payment.  You also need to make sure your lender approves of this option.

TIP 4: OFFER TO PAY SOME OF SELLERS CLOSING COSTS

Pros: Paying some of the sellers closing costs is an obvious benefit to the seller as their burden of cost is lowered. This is a good way to hide extra money in the deal that maybe might have trouble hitting the appraisal numbers.  This can be very appealing when mixed together with the above two options.  This option is like cash in their pocket!

Cons: Your overall costs go up at the time of closing.  This is not a fee that you can wrap into your mortgage so it would be additional cash you would need to bring to closing on top of your down payment and all closing fees. Be sure you have discussed this situation with your lender so you are certain you have the funds to cover this type of offer.

TIP 5: OFFER A NON-REFUNDABLE EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT

Pros:  By offering this type of deposit with the seller, they know they are guaranteed an amount of money if you do back out of the contract for any reason. The contract protects the buyer with regards to getting your earnest money back, so this type of offer is a guarantee and shows that you are a very serious buyer.

Cons:  If you choose this option, be sure it is an amount that will not impact your ability to buy a house if this deal did fall through.  In the event that you would find something major during the home inspection, you would still lose this non-refundable deposit so the risk is there, but can be something that a lot of sellers really are interested in.

TIP 6: INCLUDE AN ESCALATION CLAUSE

Pros: The escalation clause will allow your offer to “escalate” (beat the highest offer) up to a certain amount.  A seller will benefit from this type of offer because it can continue to increase the price that they will get for their house.  At the same time, for a buyer, it is a benefit because it will prevent you from possibly reaching the maximum number that you were willing to pay for the house if other offers do not force the price up to the maximum limit you offered.

Cons: Some sellers (and agents) find this type of clause confusing and unclear.  As a buyer, you are showing them your poker hand that you are willing to pay this top number, so it is possible the seller may counter offer you at that top price since they know you were ok paying that price if it escalated that high.  This is increasingly being asked to be removed from many offers right now due to the complexity that each one can be to understand.

TIP 7: WAIVE THE INSPECTION CONTINGENCY

Pros:  Waiving the inspection contingency gives the Seller a relieved sense that this is one less thing that will make the deal stressful.  Waiving the inspection gives them an enormous sense of relief knowing that you will not be requesting any repairs or cancelling if something is discovered during your inspection.   

Cons: By waiving the inspection contingency, you still get to do a home inspection, but do not get to ask the seller to fix anything if the inspector should find anything. Also, you will not be able to cancel without possibly risking your deposit based on the inspection findings.   

Follow Along on Instagram

You’re probably well aware that mortgage rates are rising. At the same time, home prices don’t seem to be coming down, there’s still a ton of competition, and you’re probably no stranger to bidding wars when you make an offer on a house. More in my blog. Link in Bio...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
...

2 0

Attended the ribbon cutting for Mammoth Lakes new Disc Golf Park. Such a beautiful course built in our local paradise. A lot of work by local individuals, business and town government came together to make this happen. THANK YOU! Check it out next time you are in town! I have never played but I am going to learn! #mammothlakesrecreation #townofmammothlakes #lovewherewelive #paradise ...

16 1

Preparing for summer in Mammoth like...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

10 0

"Thank you so much for your guidance and expertise in helping us to buy our dream home.
I am so grateful for your hard work and patience with all our questions at every step of the process. I genuinely trusted that you were looking out for our best interests and had our backs throughout this exciting and stressful process."

-Andrew & Cara

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #testimonials
...

7 0

Whew! This was only a 7 day escrow and we did it! So many offers on this one but the CASH offer with a quick close was just what my client was looking for! Thank you to Sara Knadler for bringing a quality buyer and for a smooth transaction. Sierra Escrow made it happen!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

10 0

OPEN HOUSE
33 Kelley Road

Sunday, May 22
10 AM - 1 PM

Stop by and view this immaculate and beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath move in ready home. A rare find for such an amazing location and quality construction. The placement of the home on the lot is off-set from neighboring homes providing a true sense of privacy.

LINK IN BIO FOR DETAILS
...

3 0

Eric Van Winkle making a difference on Town Clean Up Day this past weekend! Way to represent Eric and the Mammoth Lakes Board of Realtors! #mammothlakes #TOML #communityspirit #towncleanupday #loveourcommunity ...

7 0

Swimming with dozens of Black Tip sharks and rays was exhilarating and fun (well after I got over my initial hesitation)! The water was so clear and these creatures were quite social! The tour was amazing - we went on to see a 12 foot Eagle ray below us while snorkeling! #tripofalifetime #conradboraboranui #pinchme #godisgreat #lifeisgood #blacktipshark #borabora #porapora @johnbushmammothloco ...

22 7

Today is the first day of Day Pass Reservations for Yosemite National Park! If you're in the area remember to make sure you have a reservation to get into @yosemite this summer!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #summerfun #yosemite #nature
...

27 1

OPEN HOUSE
33 Kelley Road

Sunday, May 22
10 AM - 1 PM

Stop by and view this immaculate and beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath move in ready home. A rare find for such an amazing location and quality construction. The placement of the home on the lot is off-set from neighboring homes providing a true sense of privacy.

LINK IN BIO FOR DETAILS
...

7 0

I know it's something we don't want to think about... but with technology today a seller can be listening or recording you while you view their home. Make sure to be conscious and aware of that and always share your opinions outside or quietly.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
...

7 1

Make sure to show your love and support as we go into the busy summer season to all the amazing workers who make Mammoth such an amazing, beautiful, and safe place to live. Thank you to all our rangers, forest service, hospital workers, police, first responders, SAR members and more!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

25 0

That’s a wrap! 40th anniversary trip was AMAZING - don’t know where we could possibly go from here!! Truly a trip of a lifetime. So grateful ❤️ Headed back to reality tonight with arrival in 🇺🇸 tomorrow. Photos coming soon 🌴 #borabora #conradboraboranui #loveourlife #ThankYouGod #lovetotravel #pinchme @johnbushmammothloco ...

77 4

My buyers missed out in a multiple offer situation earlier this year and it happened for a reason. 924 Links Way was meant to be their Mammoth Lakes home! It is perfect for them. Things happen for a reason, right? So excited!' @side_realestate

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

7 0

Who's coming for a hike with me?! Any guesses which lake this is?

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

7 0

Flipping homes is a popular practice—and, when done right, buying a flipped home can be a good investment. I have seen some really nice ones in Mammoth Lakes.

But not all flipped homes are created equal—and if you want your home purchase to be a good investment, you need to avoid cheap, poorly done flips.

So how, exactly, do you do that? Read about it in my blog! Link in bio...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
...

4 0

Who says back up offers never become reality? Sometimes when another offer is selected, we ask to be put in back-up position. Some agents say this is a waste of time. NOT ME! This is a perfect example of the original buyer changing their mind and because we did the paperwork to be in Back Up #1 position, we are now in escrow! My clients will be the owners of this gorgeous 3 bedroom townhome near The Village at Mammoth before the end of May! @side_realestate

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

7 0

It may not seem like it but as a buyer time CAN be on your side. Link in bio for my blog...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks #realestateagentlife
...

6 0

Let’s Talk

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.

We use cookies and tracking technology in connection with your activities on our website. By viewing and using our website, you consent to our use of cookies and tracking technology in accordance with our Privacy Policy.