Tips for How to Win a Bidding War When Buying a House in Lake Oswego

With the current inventory, low mortgage rates and a heightened appreciation for the place we call home, bidding wars are becoming more common here in Lake Oswego. I’ve represented clients in a couple just within the last two weeks.

What can you do to increase your chances of having your bid be accepted in a multiple-offer scenario? Here are a few tips.

  1. Get pre-approval before starting your home search. Coming in armed with a pre-approval letter assuring the seller that you can qualify for the loan needed to purchase their home, definitely strengthens your case. In spite of the advantage that gives you when making an offer, a recent survey by showed that only 52% of active homebuyers had obtained a pre-approval letter before beginning their home search. Besides giving you the advantage in a bidding war, meeting with a mortgage lender before looking for a home also helps you zone in on homes you know you can afford. It saves you valuable time when looking and could make the difference in whether you get the home you want when you find it.
  2. Come in with your best offer. In a competitive market like ours is proving to be, your first offer needs to be your best offer. Price speaks volumes to sellers so be sure your offer is heard loud and clear. If there is other interest in a home you have your heart set on, it is not the time to negotiate. You will probably only get one chance so make sure it’s your best one. The National Association of Realtors reported in July that not only are houses moving quickly, but they are also averaging three offers per home sold compared to two offers a year ago.
  3. Work with a professional Realtor. When navigating a hot market, it helps to have the hyper-local insight of an experienced Realtor to guide you in making an offer that is fair and also competitive. In many cases with multiple offers, the winning one offers over the asking price. How much over should you go? How can you protect yourself to ensure the value is there and will be in the future when you decide to sell? What’s the right number that will get you the house but that will also appraise? These are the kinds of questions a Realtor with knowledge of the local market can answer, helping you arrive at a number you feel comfortable with and that hopefully, will get you the house.
  4. Don’t be afraid to add a personal touch. You never know how even the playing field is when up against multiple offers. Someone could be offering all cash. Someone may be offering $30,000 over. But let’s say all things are equal. A letter explaining how much you love the home, what you love about it, why this home would be the perfect next move for you could be the tipping point. If that’s your style, it couldn’t hurt and I’ve had it work for some of my clients.

I’m here to help if you’re considering buying a home in Lake Oswego. Let me go to work for you! I’ve lived here and been a Realtor here for over 30 years so I know the market and I’d love to use that knowledge helping you find your next home. Call me at 503.939.9801, email me at  and/or check out my website. I hope to hear from you!

About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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