Join Club

Ask Will: How Can I Improve the Chances of My Bid Being Accepted?

Ask Will banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A  column is written by Will Wiard, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Washington’s Best Realtors of 2015 by Washingtonian. Please submit your questions via email.

Q: I’m in the process of buying a home and have submitted a few offers that have been out bid. Is there anything I can do to improve my chances?

A: Buying a home in the Arlington can be highly competitive, particularly is there is limited inventory in your price range. You are not alone if you are having trouble navigating the bidding process. It can be tricky, but there are ways to improve your chances. Here are a few tips:

If possible, try to match the seller’s timeframe to close. While your offer may be competitive, your bid may not be selected because your timeframe to close does not match the sellers. If you have some flexibility on a closing date, ask your agent to speak with the listing agent to determine the seller’s motivations and if a shorter time frame would help improve your chances of having your bid selected.

Submit an offer at a competitive price. If you submit an offer lower than the listing price in an area where the comparable home sales support the listing price your chances of being out bid are higher. However, if you match the listing price and are still out bid your only option is often to offer more.

When buyers find themselves in this situation, they may want to consider offering more than the listing price, but ensure the offer is contingent on appraisal so in the end they don’t pay more than market value. This strategy could help you win in a bidding war and keep you from paying more than the house is worth.

Take a close look at your loan and lender. In some cases the amount of your down payment or loan terms can give you a competitive edge. Some sellers like to see a buyer with a higher down payment or a lender they are familiar with. When it comes down to these nuances, the seller is often looking for the deal that appears more likely to close within the ideal timeframe and less likely to fall through due to lender not meeting the closing date or approving the loan.

Be willing to discuss the removal of contract addendums. The selling agent may ask to waive some or all of the contract contingencies, which may occur when there are multiple offers on the home. Make sure to discuss each contingency with your agent and your options before removing them from the contract.

For example, the seller may ask to have the home inspection addendum removed. Instead of removing this addendum, you may want to replace it with a home inspection for informational purposes or a shorter home inspection timeframe. Removing the home inspection might not be a good idea, however – make sure to talk through the pros and cons with your agent.

Stand out with a personalized cover letter. If you’re competing with other buyers, including a cover letter personalizes the offer and illustrates for the seller why you want purchase the property. It can make all the difference for some buyers.

I’m hoping readers can share any additional advice in the comment section below.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected]. This is also a great place to reach me if you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of


Recent Stories

Say hello to Chico, the newest Adoptable Pet of the Week! This little guy is currently in foster through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Here is what his friends…

Arlington County is in the early stages of designing a multi-use trail facility along Long Bridge Drive. Now through mid-October, the county is gathering input on how people currently use…

Applications for the Arlington Innovation Fund (AIF) Catalyst Grant Program are now open, so don’t wait to apply!

A church in Clarendon could be redeveloped with senior housing, pending the outcome of a forthcoming county land-use study. Over the last year, Clarendon Presbyterian Church and Arlington Partnership for…

The Arlington Sports Hall of Fame is extremely pleased to announce that our 2023 Annual Induction Dinner, again in partnership with the Better Sports Club of Arlington, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Knights of Columbus, located at 5115 Little Falls Road, Arlington, Va.

Our dinner will pay tribute to all the honored members of the Hall of Fame and will induct the following six new Class of 2023 inductees, joining the 62 athletes, coaches and contributors who have been inducted into ASHOF since its founding in 1958:

Noel Deskins (Yorktown Class of ’79): Track & Field record-holder & Athlete of the Year at YHS and JMU

Eric Metcalf (O’Connell Class of ’85): Star NFL running back, football and track & field record-holder and Hall of Famer at both O’Connell and the University of Texas

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

JBLF 5K and Family Fair

Our 9th Annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson 5K & Family Fun Day is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, from 9:00am-1pm at the Knights of Columbus, 5115 Little Falls Rd, Arlington.

During a morning of celebration and health-focused activities — emceed by

National Chamber Ensemble – Diva’s Night Out with Schubert, Strauss…

Opening night in Ballston, thanks to a partnership with Marymount University will feature renowned soprano Sharon Christman singing songs of Franz Schubert, Leonard Bernstein, Fanny Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss and some thrilling instrumental music.

But that’s not all! Get ready to


Subscribe to our mailing list