I have many buyers that feel overwhelmed by a competitive, seller’s real estate market. I’ve heard many of my clients state that they don’t want to get into a bidding war. When crafting an offer in our current market my golden rule still applies.

When my wife and purchased our first home together we were outbid on a home that we really wanted. We made a competitive offer, but didn’t get our offer accepted. We were also willing to pay more than we offered. Furthermore, we didn’t get a counter offer from the seller. This was a eyeopening, and very educational experience for us. Our unsuccessful bid to purchase a home has served my clients well since it happened in 2009. This experience led to the creating of my golden rule.

I’ve yet to find a better way to pose the following question to my clients…

What is the price you’re willing to pay, where if you get the house you’re happy, but if you don’t get the house, you feel like you gave it your best shot? When my clients answer this question, it doesn’t matter how many offers they’re competing against, what anyone else is offering, or what market they’re operating in.

It’s important to not expect a counter offer from a seller. If you’re willing to pay a certain price for a home then make that offer right out of the gates. If a seller gets a good offer from someone else, why would they counter your less attractive offer? We should assume that our offer is not unique, and that there are going to be other qualified buyers making reasonable offers. A seller tends to like a buyer who stepped up to the plate right out of the gates.

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