Pro Tips To Get Your Offer Accepted

Daniel Sperling-Horowitz
4 min readMay 26, 2021


By now, we have all heard how crazy the housing market is. When competition among buyers is fierce, you need an edge.

The best recommendation we can offer is to take a contrarian approach to homebuying and avoid competition and bidding wars:

Here are our tips for submitting a winning offer in today’s housing market:

  1. Reach out directly to the listing agent (aka seller’s agent), without a buyer’s agent. This will put you in a position for the listing agent to waive the buyer’s agent commission and allow the sellers to keep higher net proceeds. If the property is listed for $500,000 and the commission established in the Seller’s listing agreement is 6% (typically split 50/50 between both agents), and you offer asking price without a buyer’s agent, the listing agent can either pocket the full 6% or waive the 3% and pass on $15,000 in higher net proceeds to the Seller. Some listing agents will try to get you to consent to dual agency, do not consent to dual agency, this means their brokerage will represent you and the Seller. If you want the aforementioned benefits, no not consent to dual agency. There are disadvantages to being represented by a buyer’s agent, take advantage of it.
  2. Include a personal letter. This is a touchy subject because some people believe it can violate Fair Housing Laws and listing agents may just throw out the letter and any accompanying picture before presenting your offer to the Seller. To be safe, you can include a letter that focuses on what you love about the property but does not include information about you and your family. Some people disregard the Fair Housing concerns, talk about their family and include a family picture. Feel out the seller, try to understand their reason for selling and their personality and proceed accordingly.
  3. Offer a high earnest money deposit. If you have the means, offer up to 5x the earnest money that would be considered standard for the price point. So, if you’re offering $500,000 for a house and $5,000 would be considered standard (1%), offer closer to $25,000 earnest money.
  4. Offer to pay all closing costs. Typically closing costs (i.e. transfer and recordation taxes, deed prep, deed stamps) are split equally between the Buyer and Seller. Depending on the state and county, closing costs can amount to 1% — 4% of the purchase price. By offering to pay closing costs, you are saving the Seller a meaningful amount of money.
  5. Waive inspection contingency. AS IS offers tell the Seller you are not going to be re-negotiating based on inspection results by lowering your offer price, asking for repairs or concessions. Review seller’s disclosure/disclaimer statement and collect as much information (i.e. age of roof) as possible. Consider touring with a trusted contractor, engineer or real estate investor.
  6. Waive appraisal contingency. When you buy a house, your lender sends out an appraiser to appraise the property’s value. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price in the contract, then the lender will lend based on the appraisal value and you will need to pay the difference at closing. So, if you offer $500,000 and the appraisal comes in at $450,000, you will need to pay $50,000 extra at closing. Buying real estate above the appraised value is never recommended. If you are not confident the property will appraise, then it would not be wise to waive your appraisal contingency unless you have the means and willingness to potentially overpay for a property.
  7. Waive financing contingency. If you’re purchasing with a loan, let the Seller know that if your financing falls through, you are committed to obtaining financing or you will lose your EMD (earnest money deposit).
  8. Offer cash. If you can offer cash, this will let the Seller feel confident you will close and without delays. Not many people have the cash on-hand to present a cash offer, there are services that allow you to make cash offers.
  9. Offer a fast or flexible close. Make it clear that you can close as fast as [15 or 30] days and you’re also flexible if the Seller wants a longer timeline to close or move out of the property.

Each of the above points are levers that may not be appropriate to use in all situations. Do your research on the property, run your numbers, carefully evaluate the condition of the property and collect as much information (i.e. age of roof) as possible to figure out an appropriate offer.

It’s a tough market for buyers. Good luck, keep your head up and enjoy the process!

About the author: Daniel Sperling-Horowitz is the CEO of OfferMarket, an agent-less, commission-free real estate marketplace featuring listings you cannot find on the MLS. Daniel is a rental property investor and licensed real estate salesperson in Maryland.



Daniel Sperling-Horowitz

CEO of OfferMarket. Real estate investor. Conrad's dad and Kelly's husband.