When the real estate market is hot, an attractive house is a coveted commodity. If buyers in an area are all eager to get into their next dream home, sellers can typically expect to receive multiple offers soon after their listing is advertised.

How can you win the bid on a property with multiple offers? Check out these seven tips.

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1. Play to win, not to lose:

A big reason behind the insane soaring of housing prices is that sellers are playing the numbers game. The lower their listing prices are, the more offers they attract – with likely higher asking prices. At the end of the day, bidding wars usually raise the prices much more than their true market value. As an agent, you should know a good enough ballpark based on market statistics. If you see that the over-asking price is exceeding your client’s budget, it’s best to pull your offer. Otherwise, you’ll be just increasing the competitive drive. Let the market balance itself out.

2. Do your due diligence:

Get complete information on the sellers. Consider asking these questions:

  • Who are they?
  • Where do they work?
  • Why are they selling?
  • Where are they going?

The best way to know about the sellers is to talk to the neighbours. If you get in touch with at least five surrounding houses, you’ll find out a scoop about the house that’s going to help you in the offer situation.

3. Compliment the agent:

Call the agent on the other end and have that communication. Tell them you want to bring an offer and you have a few questions. But first, take five minutes to know something about the agent. You may look at their Facebook profile before calling them.

Remember to compliment the agent first when you call them and then go into the seller info. The key is to build rapport, emotions and relationships.

4. See what else you can include in the offer:

If there’s some furniture and belongings in the house, you may put in the offer that you’ll take care of it on behalf of the seller. This could make your offer stand out. Likewise, you can also offer to clean it all up for them.

If the sellers wish, you may add one or two walkthroughs for them to say goodbye to the house and anything they are leaving behind. Alternatively, if they live in another city, you may also offer to pay for a mover or have it put in storage for them.

5. Give the deposit cheque or approval letter along with your offer:

Sending a non-refundable deposit cheque along with your offer will make it stronger. Or you may include an approval letter with your offer. The key is to show your client’s financial freedom. Plus, it will show the seller (and their agent) how much you want the house.

6. Text them 15 minutes before the offer:

When talking to the seller’s agent, let them know that you’ll text them before the offer as a reminder. For instance, if the offer presentation is at 5:00 p.m., text them at 4:45 p.m., reminding them of how your clients are totally in love with the place, and ask them if you can improve your chances of getting a call at any capacity.

7. Send them a letter or video:

You need to represent your client’s best interest by giving sellers an idea of who is going to purchase the house. For instance, you may send a short video of your clients talking about how much they love the house or showing their little kids in front of the house or playing in the neighborhood park.

Key takeaway:

Remember, building a relationship with the agent can make a difference between your offer and 10 other offers. We think it’s all about prices, but it’s not. It’s about the emotional versus logical connection you have, which starts with the agent on the other end.

Mary-Anne is the CEO of Red Apple Coaching and Consulting (http://www.redapplecoaching.ca), the #1 Customized Business Coaching Company. Known as a trailblazer she created numerous coaching systems and programs and the first Hybrid Coaching Program in the Real Estate Industry, GameChanger. With over 19000 Billable coaching hours she leads the industry in knowledge, skills, and experience and is often consulted for her ability to predict market trends. She has been published in Forbes, Inman, REM and is an author of the “Resilient Real Estate Women” book. Known for her ability to bring businesses #1 in their fields and has been behind the most #1 Teams in Real-estate. With over 800 business owners experiencing average profits of $3 million and 50% annual growth rates she has shared the stages with Grant Cardone, Ryan Serhant, Arlene Dickenson and many more. In her free time when she's not studying Neurosciences, she surfs the world, spears fishes and rescues puppy mill dogs. In May 2021, she accomplished one of her biggest goals and became a full Ironman after transforming her life from 300lbs to Fit as Fu!K! Having come from being homeless after losing her family, Mary-Anne is the true definition of a “Bad A$$ Business Woman” by truly living the mantra “Anything is Possible”!!


  1. I made several healthy suggestions in the comments section at this REM article. I’m just guessing the subject agent in the article has teams of expert agents representing her, for example the reference regarding checking with neighbours.
    There’s a fine line there about privacy like no call lists (maybe no-visit considered a “call” in such a suggestion?)
    When communicating any which way be sure you have at hand a copy of YOUR business not just the card of the team owner, because if someone wants to complain they will who YOU are seeing as the leader was busy doing a multitude of other items she states in the article. She must be an amazing agent indeed, training other agents her MO.

    I’m totally fascinated because I know how busy I was personally, some days needing roller skates. But I was such a fastidious organizer and that really helped. Please refer to my comments.
    It’s not about putting other agents’ creatively down.
    The super human agent’s ideas would never fly in my market. And could in fact be dangerous. And if taught in coaching sessions be aware to check if even permitted in your area.

    • (from Carolyne ~ with an “e”… am I to presume you refer to moi?; if so thank you for the compliment.)

      You can find me under REM’s columnist contributors on the upper left corner 3-line button on the new REM website format as at a few months back.


      As those who know me I have contributed as a columnist articles to REM for more than a decade – as the exclusive regular recipes for realtors columnist. I am not and never have been paid by REM. My gourmet cooking column contribution is a give back to colleagues, clients and other REM readers.

      However, having been a REALTOR (r) since 1980, I often contribute my real estate thoughts as “comments.”


      Dear Norman Normal, PED, et al:
      Sometimes I receive nice comments from REM readers, for which I am grateful. But it is not my desire to put down other REM article writers, but rather to enhance a thought or two, not meaning to interfere.

      Article writers oddly enough most often do not communicate with REM readers who make comments, especially those in the legal community (so many of that designate group really know little in particular about buyer brokerage; it’s surprising). They simply process the paperwork associated with a particular transaction. Clearly many have no dedicated interest in designated agency.

      Not to think in terms of semantics, there are words I try to avoid, such a deal, play, game, and others alluding to real estate not to be taken seriously. Call me old-fashioned but I’m for real.

      I just listened to a Podcast that talked about compartmentalizing your brain in order to succeed in business, generally speaking. I was able to identify with the topic because that was indeed no small measure I used to create my outrageous success, by farming. And I sometimes referred out clients even just to the other side of town if I didn’t feel qualified.

      I never “worked” a day in my life; I couldn’t wait to get out of bed in the morning to communicate with those who expected nothing but the best, one on one personal service. They hired me; they got me. I did it all. Personally. Sometimes 33 calls by 11 am.

      When I look back more than forty years I don’t know how I actually did it all. I never rushed or spoke in a hurried fashion, and I didn’t rush anyone else.

      It took me a minimum of two hours to do a listing presentation so that the sellers were comfortable; a quick walk through with a would-be buyer and if any interest at least an hour showing appointment on a short list property. And at least two hours at an offer presentation. No fuss. No rush.
      I truly was paid what I was worth.

      Carolyne L

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Good lord!

    Scope them out with the neighbours so that their neighbour friends can tell them there’s a creepy agent asking questions?

    Hand over a deposit cheque before an offer is accepted why? So that the brokerage might choose to deposit it as required and tie it up for 10-14 days before it’s released?

    Micromange and insult them by texting 15 minutes before the offer to remind them that in 15 minutes they have an offer presentation which they’re either en route to or speaking to their sellers about?

    Include in the offered purchase price furniture not offered for sale and so in the seller’s mind dilute the offer price?

    Give the sellers a final walkthrough on a property in their possession?

    Know what some people are doing to win? Stupid things like vastly overpaying for a property or not doing their due diligence and making unconditional offers. No amount of stroking an agent’s ego or appealing to sellers with videos of the perfect couple with 2 kids, a dog and cat creepily playing outside a house they don’t own is going to beat out either of those 2.

    • PED says, in part, excellent point as always: “Hand over a deposit cheque before an offer is accepted why? So that the brokerage might choose to deposit it as required and tie it up for 10-14 days before it’s released?”

      A thought just occurred to me although I had never done it: for the purpose of clarifying interest only, if buyers think it would make their already superior offer even better, maybe attach a photocopy of a “certified” deposit cheque?

      It’s easy to stop payment even on a would-be certified cheque by having the buyer take the original, hand-delivered, to their own buyer bank, if their offer is not accepted. That way the buyer isn’t tying up his money as noted.

      Be sure to draw a diagonal line through the photocopy and write “non-negotiable, copy only,” in red ink. “Original available immediately upon acceptance” of offer. Thus this procedure only costs the buyer a few dollars at their bank, but might be a deciding factor worth considering?

      As to item 5:
      Some readers will remember when full buyer details were “required” by Board rules to be right in the body of the offer, right down to finite details of any required financing: type of mortgage at a designated particular financial institution, at what interest rate and other details such as the actual finance terms and conditions.

      Ultimately that process was considered an invasion of privacy and removed from Board rules, that I fought hard at Board level to be changed. Likewise a seller’s existing financial commitment registered on the listed property, available for all and sundry to see at any time and the information stayed in MLS books ad infinitum. What a violation of privacy, but that’s just one example of what we had to work with, actually required by Board rules during the early 80s… why? because it had always been done that way (kind of like the old ham bone pot size theory) and no one had ever challenged the Board rights to impose such rules on the real estate industry everywhere. Approved by the ministry.

      Carolyne L

      Sent from my iphone

      • Carolyn and that is exactly what I sometimes do er when time didn’t permit, it was of an uncertified cheque. In my mind without directly saying so, I’m telegraphing to the seller that I have the cheque in my possession and will be obligated to turn i tover once the offer is accepted and that it’s not being used merely as bait.

    • Where are the brokers, broker owners, and office managers? And training personnel? Are they seriously approving, promoting, training newbies these processes and procedures? Are these ideas local? Are they likely to be acceptable in most general markets?
      Real estate can be very local in its functioning. What works well in one area would be considered useless and even perhaps inappropriate in another.

      If I were younger I would work to see uniform systems in place right across the country, especially re the APS.

      Toronto people transferred to Ottawa was always an interesting (contract) experience for my relo clients. The Ottawa system was very different from ours, the relo buyer would report upon return. Much less formal bordering on loose. At the time for example includes, chattles, etc weren’t included in this APS, but agreed to by handshakes on a walk-thru. In one case in particular I relo’d an RCMP family with a child in training for the olympics years ago.

      The Ottawa real estate system was so different from ours. Likewise in Montreal. A family member of an active listing here that I had, was quite taken about how I marketed the family home here when visiting, and called me to ask if she could share my marketing process with her Montreal agent.

      A similar situation with a London ON family. I had done a transaction for their London friend and come time to move here, I found I had an incoming buyer referral. Later I moved the referral to a larger property where they lived maybe ten years. Had sold them my own listing. Excellent location. They retired and decided to return to London. Unbeknownst to me they bought back home.

      Their London agent couldn’t believe what I did to get their house here sold in a quiet market (with three excellent offers); housekeeping so seller wasn’t overwhelmed being ready for showings, fresh flowers weekly, lawns mowed when needed.

      And I saved them tens of thousands of dollars in fix-up’s as they had been prepared to update solid wood cupboards and replace other serious construction.

      And then what my seller did for their incoming buyer created conversation for sure.

      Each market is unique for sure.

      Carolyne L

      Sent from my iPhone


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