When Angie and Emilio Penaranda were shopping for their first home in 2014, they faced some competition they were unprepared for: The young couple found themselves vying against four other offers for the end-unit townhome in Crofton that they really wanted.
But their Realtor, Suren Adams of Adams Realty, had a card up her sleeve: She suggested upping the asking price by $2,000, but also writing the seller a short letter about why their home was the one.
“We’d never heard of the strategy before,” says Angie, a 30-year-old NICU nurse. “But I truly think that our letter genuinely showed our love for the home. It made the owner appreciate selling her home to people who she felt would love it as much as she did.”
Even today, crafting a cover letter seems to be a viable option for home buyers aiming to triumph in a bidding war, similar to all-cash offers and waiving contingencies, according to new data published by Redfin, a national real estate brokerage based in Seattle. After analyzing an estimated 14,000 competing offers nationwide in 2016 and 2017, Redfin tracked the effects of bidding strategies on raising a prospective buyer’s odds of success.
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