Submitting an offer in a Seller's market

Home > Knowledge Base > Submitting an offer in a Seller’s market

Buyer’s generally have the advantage when making an offer on a home.  However, in a market similar to the one in 2020 and 2021, the Seller has a significant advantage.

What is a Seller's market?

A Seller’s market is when inventory is low, demand is high and interest rates are rock bottom.  Think of Christmas time and the must have item of the season (e.g. Xbox, PlayStation, etc.).  You’ll petty much offer anything to get your hands on one.  It basically becomes the Hunger Games.  That’s a Seller’s market.

What can I do to have an advantage?

You can get a slight edge by offering your first born, a vital organ or to put the Seller’s kids through college.  All jokes aside, here are some things you can try to increase your odds of being the winning bidder:

  • Pay cash or use a Conventional Loan
  • Offer an amount above list price (e.g. $10,000, $20,000, etc.)
  • Pay your own closing costs
  • Pay the Seller’s closing costs
  • Pay for your own inspections
  • Shorten your closing date
  • Offer an amount above the appraised value
  • Waive repairs (not recommended)

How much should I offer?

As mentioned above, in a major Seller’s market, expect to pay above list price.  Anyone offering list price and especially below list price should expect to be the first eliminated from contention.

The exact amount to offer will depend on the specific home, the location, current market values and a variety of other factors.

We can consult with you to help determine the best strategy.  Consult with a local Realtor®

Signing a Contract

Who pays for closing costs?

Regardless of the market, these costs are negotiable.  However, if you ask the Seller to pay in a hot market, prepare to read the following e-mail, “Thank you, but the Seller chose another offer. “.  It’s not desirable, but if you want a real shot at winning, try to pay your own closing costs and if feasible, offer to pay the Seller’s closing costs.

Who pays for inspections?

Similar to closing costs, these fees are negotiable in any market.  However, in a market where there can be 20+ offers on a house, you’ll want to pay for your own inspections if you want to stand out among the competition.

Can I ask for repairs?

Yes you can, but the likelihood is that the Seller will either decline or only do the bare minimum.  In many cases, the Seller may advise in advance that they are selling the home as-is.  This doesn’t necessarily imply that there is something seriously wrong with the home.  It’s just a pre-emptive move by the Seller to hint that no repairs will be made.

What type of financing should I use?

If you have it, cash.  If you don’t, a Conventional Loan can be preferred.  Cash and Conventional Loans can virtually cut out a lot of red tape, making the transaction less contingent on the condition of the home.  FHA and VA loans could be passed over if a competing offer is cash or Conventional.  Home buyers seeking owner-financing will have a next to impossible time finding a home.  In a hot market, Sellers can get absolute top dollar in as little as 30 days as opposed to a nominal down payment with a 5 to 10+ year term.


Buying in a Seller’s market is not easy.  You’ll need to be very strategic with your offer.  Be prepared to submit 5, 10 to 15+ offers until you finally get one.  We don’t recommend paying more than a home is worth.

However, if you “must” buy a home, structure your offer as aggressive as you can.   We can help you navigate the current market and advise the best strategy based on your personal circumstances to give you an advantage.



0% Down Payment Program?

Get Pre-Qualified Today!