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Writing the Winning Bid

A Buyer’s Guide to To Getting Your Offer Accepted in a Seller’s Market

Under Contract Success

You are finally ready to take the plunge and put an offer in on a property on Hilton Head Island or in Bluffton, SC. You have found the perfect property, and you’re willing to pay the asking price. It’s a sure thing, right? Not so fast. 

We are in a seller’s market, which means more buyers than properties. So what can you do to get your offer accepted? 


  • A competitive offer price
  • Strong earnest money deposit
  • Minimal to no contingencies
  • Flexible move-in dates. Offer up a post-occupancy if needed
  • Add an escalation clause

Writing a solid offer means you have to go in with your best foot forward at the beginning. In today’s competitive market, you might not get another chance. Even if you put the first offer in, you can’t assume other offers won’t come. 

Go Above Asking Price

When the median closed price in the market is 103% of the list price, don’t allow the thought of offering over the asking price to overwhelm you. Going over asking shows the seller you are serious about buying the home.

Larger Earnest Money

Putting down a larger down payment than you have to, sends the message that you’re serious about the purchase and capable of meeting all financial obligations.

Minimal to No Contingencies

A clean, no-contingency offer means that you’re waiving all contingencies to make your bid more competitive and appealing to the seller. A clean offer should not be contingent on the sale of another property or have other financial constraints. If possible, consider giving up your inspection contingency too. Get a pre-approval, not a pre-qualification letter from your lender if you are financing. This means that you will complete the entire loan process with your lender before making an offer on a home. Then when you put an offer in, you can confidently eliminate the financing contingency with little or no risk as long as you have enough cash to cover any potential shortfall between the appraised price and the contract price. 

Add an Escalation Clause to Your Offer

An escalation clause means that your offer will outbid other offers up to a maximum price. This means that you make an offer saying you will pay $X price for a home, but if a higher offer comes in, you will increase your bid to $Y price.

These items are the current measures needed to be successful in this highly competitive seller’s market.

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