It’s not just about submitting the highest offer. In today’s crazy market, you need to stand out to both listing agents and sellers. Here are a few ways to sway them in your buyer’s favor.

Winning offers in an extreme seller’s market takes skill. As industry pros, we all know it’s about being chosen by both the listing agent and the seller who wants to feel comfortable with the sale and reassured that the deal will close. 

In today’s competitive market, it’s not just about submitting the highest offer with the fewest terms — it’s about standing out from your competition. Here are a few ways you can do that. 

1. Connect with the listing agent

Get the listing agent to like and respect you as an agent. You do so by being professional, yet friendly, and competent and proactive without being too pushy and aggressive.

Give listing agents a sense that you are a person they will feel comfortable doing business with, that you can get deals closed, and that you’re someone they would love to have a meal with after. Be likeable — and just downright awesome.

If you don’t know the listing agents, find out all you can about them to find a connection. Did you work at the same brokerage? What school did they go to? If you know another agent who knows them, ask them to put in a good word for you. 

Show your expertise about the area and the neighborhood where the home is located. Talk about how many years you’ve been selling in that neighborhood and why you love the area. A serious buyer is what the other side is looking for, and demonstrating a love for the location is a great way to do that.

Be sure to utilize technology that includes tracking: the status of your offer — if it’s been opened or a particular section has been read. Doing so enables you to provide updates, or ping the listing agent for a status or to see if they have any questions. 

2. Demonstrate a commitment to the home

Listing agents and sellers want to know your buyers love and want the home — that this is the only home on the entire planet that’s the home for them. 

Talk about how long your buyers have been looking and how many times they have made offers and lost (shows how hungry they are). Do a pre-inspection before submitting the offer. It shows that you and your buyers are serious bidders, know the condition of the home and won’t get buyer’s remorse if you find something wrong with it later.

Find something specific to say about the property and neighborhood to show that your buyer is emotionally connected. Perhaps it’s the walkability of the area, the stunning views or a particular feature in the home.   

3. Connect with the seller

While National Association of Realtors (NAR) and fair housing laws may not recommend buyer love letters to the sellers, that does not mean the agent can’t send a heartfelt letter. (To avoid ethics issues, check out this article first.)

Find a way to stand out in the seller’s mind, and get them to love you and your buyers. Note: As a professional courtesy, you should always give the listing agent a heads-up that you will be contacting their seller.

4. Stand out by standing out!

Your job is to be your client’s best fiduciary and do anything possible to get your buyer that home. There are many things you can do to make an impact. For example, eXp agent Clayton Connolly wrote a song asking the sellers to pick his client (they did, and the property sold for $1.73 million). In short, don’t be afraid to get attention and be creative!

Even if your offer doesn’t win, always follow up with the listing agent after the fact via phone or a short note. It shows class and gives you an opportunity to connect when they’re not crazed from organizing and presenting offers. Plus, you never know when you’ll be bidding on another one of their listings in the future.

Mark Choey is the founder of HighNote Labs and co-founder of Climb Real Estate in San Francisco. Connect with him on Instagram or LinkedIn.

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