Anyone practicing real estate in Vancouver is no stranger to multiple offers, sometimes also called bidding wars or competing offers.

Although we think that the highest price will get accepted, there are other ways to appease the sellers.

Here are a few strategies that I’ve used to get my buyers an edge over the other offers in a competitive market:

1. Tweak the price. Try an amount slightly higher than the common price breaks we are used to. For example, instead of $875,000, try writing $876,900. If the seller will simply take the highest offer without giving anyone a counter, your price just may help inch your offer ahead of the rest.

Attend the showing. Although it may be a land-value home where a buyer is satisfied with doing a drive-by, try to attend the showings if possible. Usually, the listing agent will have all first showings at the same time. If your buyer is with you, it will show the buyer how much interest there is in the property and may trigger his or her competitive nature. Also, if your buyer cannot make it, it’s a solid opportunity to build a rapport with the listing agent.

2. Consider terms, not just price. The highest price will usually do the trick, but it is not always the deciding factor. Find out from the listing agent where the sellers are moving to and what their timeline is. Terms with flexible closing, rent-back options and the ability to adjust completion dates can help your offer stand out. The favorable terms can help give your buyer an opportunity to improve the price because the sellers prefer your terms.

3. Present the offer personally. When possible, try to present your offer personally to the seller. Dress sharp and be professional. Sellers can sometimes easily be impressed with an agent’s effort. Your presence can help distinguish your offer from the ones that were emailed in. If offers are similar, you may have a better opportunity if you can build a rapport both with the listing agent and seller. Remember, aside from having the most competitive offer, do everything you can to get the right of first refusal.

4. Show proof of the deposit. If submitting a cash offer, a copy of the deposit check sent with the offer can assist in showing financial strength of a buyer. Also, the listing agent can ensure that, if your offer is accepted, everything is in place and there isn’t a 24-hour period of uncertainty waiting for the deposit. (Please ensure you meet your brokerage’s policy of handling funds and advise your buyer accordingly.)

5. Create efficient communication. Usually, the listing agent can be overwhelmed with inquiries, arranging showings and emailing property documents. Be proactive in the communication process and ensure you keep yourself updated instead of relying on the listing agent to update you. Things can change fast, and although the listing agent will do his or her part to notify all inquiries, do not assume it.

6. Be available. When you know that the offers are being presented, notify your client so that he or she can be available. Agents will call to let you know if your offer is being considered and will need you to communicate with your buyer accordingly.

The more you know, the more you can help meet expectations. These strategies have helped me to get an edge over the competition. What are some that you have used successfully?

Shali Tark is a real estate agent at Macdonald Realty Westmar.

Email Shali Tark.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription