Trying to buy a property when you’re competing with other buyers is stressful. Once a seller has accepted an offer in WA, you don’t get a second chance to increase yours – it’s gone. 

If you’ve been caught in a cycle of missing out – don’t despair. We’ve got 5 simple tips to help your offer stand out and boost your chances of getting your dream home. And better yet, most buyers don’t use them. Curious? Read on!

  1. Get your finance sorted

And pass that information along to the selling agent. First and foremost, sellers and their agents want to know that the offer they’ve accepted is going to be successful. The more certainty you can provide in relation to your finance the better. If you’re happy for the selling agent to speak to your broker (we’ll usually ask to do that), brilliant. And if you can sharpen the pencil on the finance approval period (down from 28 down to 21, or even 14 days from acceptance) even better. 

Increasingly, we’re seeing buyers (particularly those based in the Eastern States) taking the punt and making their offer cash. There are of course risks involved and we would strongly recommend speaking with your broker and settlement agent before taking this step. It will put you in a very strong negotiation position if it’s something you’re comfortable doing. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that the seller will take a discounted offer just because it’s cash.

2. Ask about the settlement date

Do the sellers want a long or short settlement period? If the property is vacant, they’ll typically want their cashola lickety-split. If they’re living in the house and don’t have anything to move to, they’re probably worried about being homeless and wanting more time to find something to rent or buy. Ask the selling agent and to let them know if you can be flexible with the settlement period.

3. Increase the deposit

This is a super easy thing to do that shows you’re committed to the purchase. Provided the contract comes to an end for valid reasons (eg your finance is declined) the amount is fully refundable. The deposit is held in trust, the selling agent will issue you a receipt and the proceeds all go towards the settlement. Whatever you do, don’t offer a low deposit amount – it makes your offer and financial position look weak.

4. Think about your offer conditions

Sellers look for the easiest route to the result and will weigh up both conditions and price when dealing with offers. Savvy buyers will often take the punt of not adding things like building and termite inspection conditions provided they are comfortable with a home. If there are additional things you want to check on a property, try doing those checks before you submit your offer if you can. 

The more conditions you add to your offer, and particularly any non-standard conditions, the more difficult you look to deal with – that’s ‘Danger Will Robinson’ territory. You can of course add any conditions you want to your offer – it’s your offer and you have to be comfortable with it. Just be aware that when you’re in competition with other buyers any extra conditions are likely to set your chances back considerably – or take you off the table completely. 

5. Price – avoid the ‘000’s 

What’s the obsession with round numbers people? Avoid offer amounts that are in multiples of $10,000 or $5000 at all costs. I once had 5 groups of buyers offer $905,000 for a property. The sixth offered $906,500. Who do you think got it? If you only follow one tip – make it this one. No round numbers. Ever. Got it?!

And if you’re already doing all of the above and still missing out, it’s telling me that you’re likely misreading the market. Are you consistently coming in too low? Are you trying to be too smart? Are you genuinely putting your best foot forward? There could be myriad reasons why it’s going awry. Try chatting to a friendly agent you’ve met and trust about how you can set yourself up for success next time.

Happy house hunting. Good luck!