How to Win a Bidding War in Seattle

Prevu Real Estate reveals everything you need to know

By Seattle Mag


This post is sponsored.

March 4, 2022

Seattle is experiencing a hot real estate market. There were record sales in 2021 and the Emerald City entered 2022 with a record low inventory of homes for sale.

And it is easy to see why, as buyers from all over the country are attracted by the beautiful sights of Seattle that blend with the fast-growing tech scene.

The confluence of these factors create a seller’s market in Seattle, as an abundance of buyers compete for every listing. Looking at the competition in the market, many wonder if they even stand a chance amid all of the bidding wars.

Luckily, homebuyers can use a few expert tips to boost their chances of success. To help aspiring homeowners, the team at Prevu Real Estate compiled several of the best ways to win a bidding war in Seattle.

Start saving soon and often
Purchasing a home anywhere in America is an expensive endeavor. This is especially true for house hunters approaching Seattle real estate.

Figure out how much money you have coming in each month to create a budget, and begin putting away money for a down payment. Chances are you’ll have to cut out expensive purchases and vacations for a bit, but it will pay off when you invest in your future equity. 

Most conventional loans require 20% down from the buyer, so make sure to save as much as possible if you are saving for a Magnolia home. Budgeting means more than saving for a down payment, as you must also put aside money for costly closing costs, monthly mortgage payments, and reserves for any repairs.

Once you have a solid savings foundation under you, it is time to find a partner that can help guide you through a bidding war.

Partner with an agent that offers commission rebates
Listing agents can offer facts about a property and a cheery tour of a home, but buyers will want an advocate on their side.

Buyer’s agents help you discover listings you may have missed, organize inspections and appraisals, then lead you through tense negotiations. Plus, your agent can guide you through any bidding wars, keeping you level in a chaotic market.

As you interview different buyer’s agents in Seattle, ask them about their deal experience, what neighborhoods and suburbs they focus on, and if they can offer you a commission rebate. Sometimes called a buyer rebate, this concept allows your real estate broker to provide you with a portion of their commission after closing.

By streamlining the purchasing process for buyers with a digital buying platform, Prevu Real Estate is able to unlock significant savings for homebuyers, offering them the largest commission rebate in Seattle.

Get out early and often to see new listings
Part of the fun of buying a Seattle home is going out to explore the houses for sale.

But while it is enticing to set aside a weekend to check out listings, buyers should try to see homes the moment they get on the market. If you wait until the weekend to see a new listing in Fremont, chances are there will be several offers on it by the time you see it, if it is even still available.

Luckily, digital real estate tools make finding new listings and scheduling property tours a breeze. But what is more challenging is setting aside time during a busy work week to see homes. You can get an advantage over other buyers by visiting houses on lunch breaks or setting up tours after work.

Start your search with a pre-approval in hand
One of the best ways to win over a seller is a speedy transaction, and nothing tells a seller you mean business like a pre-approval letter. These letters show sellers that a lender stands behind your offer and is ready to finance the loan if your bid is chosen.

Before starting a search, you should have a pre-approval ready to go. Meet with multiple lenders to determine which one can provide the highest loan amount and best mortgage rates for your needs.

Given the Seattle market is very competitive right now, you can go a step further and pursue a fully-underwritten pre-approval. Also referred to as pre-underwriting, this type of pre-approval is the most comprehensive a buyer can receive. A lender does the majority of the underwriting process upfront and enables buyers the ability to close quicker and reduce some of the risk of waiving a financing contingency.

Be ready to get flexible with non-financial terms
Sometimes, winning a bidding war comes down to the nitty-gritty details.

Most sellers want to sell their homes as fast as possible and will do business with buyers ready to make a deal. Inspections are invaluable tools that help buyers understand the value of the home they’re buying. But in a pinch, you can concede these steps of the transaction process to make your offer more appealing to sellers.

Buyer beware in a situation like this, but if you are super handy or planning to renovate the property anyway, you could consider waiving the inspection contingency.


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