How to Start a Bidding War for Your House in OC


Igniting a bidding war for your home is hands down, one of the most effective ways to make sure it sells for top dollar. Every part of your marketing plan should be focused on exposing your house to a lot of buyers, so that you can attract as many offers as possible in Orange County, California.

Successfully orchestrating bidding war obviously increases the purchase price, but also gives you more negotiating leverage so you can ultimately get most, if not all of the other terms you want as well. In order to pull this off, however, you need to be willing to take the necessary steps to fan the flames of a bidding war and avoid lowball offers.

Here are 5 tips on how to start a bidding war for your home in Orange County.

Price the Home to for a Fast Sell

Make sure you know what the real market value of your home is. I recommend evaluating the recent comps with your agent to determine what the most reasonable number is for your home.

Then, list your how at about 5% below it’s market value. I know, it’s a bit counter-intuitive but stay with me. If you want to truly create a buzz around your home, the best thing you can do is make it look like a deal. No buyer can resist “a deal.”

This tactic is often referred to as “listing low to sell high,” because this is exactly what it does. By making your home look like it’s a deal, you will attract a lot more offers from a lot more buyers. Many of this offers will come in above your asking price, but the real magic happens in the negotiating.

With several offers on the table you will find yourself in a strong negotiating position. You can counter every offer at the price you really want, and then move forward with one of the offers that accepts. This strategy would be much less likely to work if you only had 1 or 2 offers.

Staging Your House

Attracting interested buyers is all about increasing the desirability (ie. “demand”) of your home. Buying or selling real estate is a highly emotional process for most people. The more your buyer can daydream about living their life in your home, the more it will stand out and make an emotional impression with them.

Staging is a great way to accomplish this. The first step in staging your home is to de-clutter. Clutter makes your home feel small, so go through and try to remove as much as you can. Do you have one couch too many? Is the table too large for the dining room? Are there shelves stacked along every wall? Feel free to ask for help with this. Your agent has been inside hundreds, if not thousands of houses over the years and will likely have some helpful insight on this.

Staging isn’t just about removing clutter though, it’s about putting your home’s best foot forward. Many agent’s will actually have their listings professionally staged by interior designers. A professional will know how to achieve the best possible result and make your house look like a model home.

A staged home will stand out from the others as buyers go from showing to showing. When it comes time to make a decision and put in an offer, the best looking homes they saw are sure to be among their top choices.

Set a Deadline for Offers

Another way to attract a lot of offers to create a sense of urgency. By setting a deadline of when you will review all offers, you will not only simplify the process for yourself, but also force buyers to act quickly. You will also be able to evaluate all offers at once, without feeling like you should be waiting to see if anything else trickles in.

Deadlines work best when a home is priced low, and when the deadline is set on Monday evening after a weekend open house.

Hold a Mega Open House

You can also increase excitement and fan the flames of a bidding war by holding a mega open house. By putting out hundreds of signs, advertising online, and having refreshments, snacks, maybe even a barbecue and mimosas, your open house will help incite buyers to put in stronger offers.

Why does this work? If your open house is fun and includes food and drinks then you are going to get a lot more foot traffic. More people will come in, and they will stick around longer. Yes, a lot of these people are just looking, or just there for the free snacks, but it’s not about them is it? It’s about your potential buyers.

When your potential buyers walk in they will see an open house that is full of people walking around and checking out the house. To your buyers, these people are the competition. If they want to put in an offer, they’ll want to do it with a sense of urgency after attending the open house.

READ: What to Expect from a Realtor Selling Your House

Build Interest Pre-Listing

You can get buyers excited and create some urgency by promoting your home before it hits the market. There are a couple ways you can do this.

You can put the listing up online and in the MLS, but stipulate that there won’t be any showings until the first open house. You can further build anticipation by putting up a custom website for your home that includes a video and a virtual 3D home tour so people can learn more about it.

This will also help increase the traffic of buyers at your open house. If they’re interested, they will likely have already done their research and will be ready to make an offer once they’ve seen it in person.

Posted in California, Real Estate, selling and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Great post. I agree with your point “Make sure you know what the real market value of your home is. I recommend evaluating the recent comps with your agent to determine what the most reasonable number is for your home.” Sometimes we close the deal at very low cost, while the market price has much better than that.

Comments are closed.