Winning a Bidding War in San Diego: 5 Expert Tips

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• Best Strategies to Win Against Multiple Offers on a House •

Given the popularity of California real estate, it’s no surprise that a bidding war in San Diego is among the most competitive real estate markets in America — especially for homebuyers.

Even if you are financially secure and ready to take the next step in your home buying journey, you may still find one obstacle standing between you and the home of your dreams: other buyers. This is especially true in a seller’s market, where there is insufficient inventory to keep up with buyers’ demand.

From making a cash offer on a house to getting pre-approved for a home loan, here are a few strategies and expert tips for winning a bidding war in San Diego.

Obtain a fully underwritten pre-approval letter

One of the best things you can do to get ahead when trying to buy a home is to get fully pre-approved for a housing loan before you begin shopping. An underwritten pre-approval letter tells the seller that you are serious about buying a home, and that you won’t run into any issues qualifying for a mortgage to purchase their home. Your lender will look at several things, including your W2s, bank statements, credit report, and other official financial documentation, to help determine the amount you will qualify for in a mortgage loan.

Be flexible with your non-financial terms

Of course, price is not the only thing to consider when preparing your offer. Non-financial terms are another way to help set your offer apart and win a bidding war without going over your budget. For sellers who are in the market to sell their home but don’t have a new one lined up yet, offering the option for a short-term leaseback can be a great way to set your offer apart by taking some of the stress off the sellers. If you are a homeowner considering to sell, Reali can help you buy before you sell your house.

Some non-financial terms to consider during a bidding war in San Diego include:

  • The timing of possession of the house
  • Your flexibility on a projected closing date
  • The option to do a short-term lease back from the sellers

Analyze comparable home sales nearby

When making a purchase of this size, it is crucial to make an informed decision. Your real estate agent will run comparables, or “comps,” from the area to help you develop a clear, well-researched strategy and get a sense of the home’s value compared to similar ones in the market. It will help you be confident in your offer and ensure that you don’t let your emotions lead the way when making an offer or negotiating.

Comparable sales are neither active listings nor pending sales. Those values don’t carry the same weight as a home that has already sold. Below are the main components of a comparable sale:

  • Recent time frame of sale (typically last three months)
  • Proximity (ideally less than a mile away)
  • Similar square footage (within 10% of the subject property)
  • Similar age and construction
  • Similar lot size
  • Similar condition

Make an all-cash offer during a bidding war in San Diego

During a bidding war in San Diego, an all-cash offer will almost always be the most appealing bid from a buyer. With a cash offer on a house, the seller won’t have to worry about you running into any potential financing problems. Additionally, a cash sale allows the transaction to go through faster, saving everyone time by eliminating the underwriting process. If the seller is motivated by a fast sale, a cash offer on house can be a very powerful tool.

Did you know that about one-third of the homes in California are purchased with cash? If you don’t have stacks of it lying around or wonder why a cash offer is better when buying a house, we’re here to help. Think of our Cash Offer program as the rich uncle you never had. With the Reali Cash Offer, we’ll front you the cash to place an all-cash offer on the home you want. Using cash makes your offer much more competitive and appealing to sellers as it eliminates the finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies. Moreover, buyers who use cash often close below the asking price.

Limit or waive contingencies

A contingency is a clause built into your offer, outlining certain conditions that must be met for your deal to close. If these conditions or stipulations are not met, you (the buyer) can break the contract without facing any financial repercussions. In other words, a contingency is a way to provide buyers with a sense of protection against some of the risks involved in purchasing a home.

One way to make your offer more enticing is to exclude these contingencies. However, make sure you’re aware of any future implications. For example, if you forego the home inspection contingency, you could find out about a potential foundation issue or a leaky roof down the line. While there’s a definite risk associated with waving this contingency, it could give you a leg up over other buyers who require a professional inspection.

These strategies can be effective in helping you win a bidding war, but statistics show that 9 times out of 10, an all-cash offer wins over a traditional, mortgage-backed one. Reali gives you the edge to increase your chances of winning a home by 3x, putting your dream home within reach. To learn more about our sell and buy programs, contact us today.

The Bottom Line

Your home is your biggest investment, so make the most of it. Buy your new house with the power of cash, move in faster than ever before, and let a local Reali Agent handle the rest. Call us at (858) 880-0195 or email to get started with Reali today.

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About The Author
Portia Green, REALTOR®

Portia Green is a highly experienced full-time REALTOR® specializing in the representation of Sellers, heralded by her clients as data-driven and an effective negotiator. Producing $25M total in residential sales volume, Portia's goal is to help her clients achieve the best results when selling their homes and to make their experience an enjoyable one. She has successfully sold real estate since 2008 and has gained an in-depth knowledge of local real estate markets & seasonal trends. Portia has achieved a 100% customer satisfaction rating and wants to share her expertise & personal service with you in the sale of your home. When listing your home with Portia Green and Compass, you'll receive the hands-on service you need and desire. Portia will help you manage the entire process of selling your home from pricing, preparing and staging the house, to marketing, negotiating offers, inspections, all the way to closing. She will recommend skilled vendors for any job needed, personally host Open Houses, and ensure that all showings are accompanied. At Compass, Portia offers a wise no-nonsense way to sell your home for the best price and the least hassle. With a keen eye for staging & preparing listings to maximize Buyer appeal, all of Portia Green's listings are professionally photographed using HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography to provide the highest quality photos in the industry. Professionally printed marketing materials are prepared for all Open Houses. We also capture a 3D scan of your home that creates an interactive walkthrough online along with a custom-designed floor plan and targeted digital marketing campaigns on Google & the most popular social media channels. Compass participates in the Multiple Listing Service, which is the local real estate database of homes listed for sale that all REALTORS® use in helping their Buyers find houses. Your home will appear on every real estate website, in its best light, making a stunning camera-ready debut. Portia Green's home valuation expertise and extensive experience in comparative market analysis will help price your home accurately. She has refined her skills to help you pinpoint which features of your home will result in more showings and better results. Her mantra is for you to be ready to sell your home and feel good about that first. Portia knows that home inspectors always find a problem; that drones take some of the best photos in town; and that her eyebrows will grow to the floor in the time it takes her to read everything that's happening with your HOA, but that doesn't mean she won't do it anyway. Eyebrows be damned. You'll always need a place to unplug, connect, dream, grow, or just be yourself. That makes what Portia does even more meaningful. She’s ready to go the extra mile to help you find just the place. Whether you're selling your very first home, offloading an investment property, or want a vacation getaway with passive income, she is attentive to the details of every home sale. Portia helps busy people navigate this crazy real estate market like a pro, so don't be shy. Every great relationship starts with free advice and a friendly chat. Ask as many questions as you need to. Selling houses is her jam!