Now that you’ve found the home of your dreams, the last thing you want is to be outbid by another interested buyer. Multiple offers are becoming increasingly common these days.

The good news is that there are ways to help ensure that you are positioned to win a bidding war. Thinking outside of the box can help you craft an offer that knocks the competition aside. Your real estate agent can be your best asset in gauging the situation and helping you put together a tempting offer, but before you do anything else, you should set up an appointment with your lender and begin the mortgage application process. If you want to win a bidding war, having a preapproval letter in hand is a must.

Here are a few other strategies to consider when making an offer that a seller won’t be able to refuse:

· Offer a sizeable amount of earnest money. Even if you don’t have a huge down payment to offer, putting cash directly on the table alongside your offer can indicate to a seller how motivated you are to buy. Consult your agent about how much money is bound to capture the seller’s attention.

· Show flexibility on timing. If you can put together an offer that doesn’t include a contingency for selling your current home, the seller won’t feel the pressure of your timetable. On the other hand, if the seller has timing constraints of his or her own, your demonstration of flexibility might be just the bargaining chip you can use to make your offer stand out from the crowd.

· Waive contingencies and closing costs. If you can take all the “attached strings” out of the picture, your offer will catch the seller’s attention. You’ll want to consider what types of contingencies are in your very best interest (such as a timing or inspection contingency) and which are merely nitpicking – such as including the washer and dryer as part of the sale. And while it can be tempting to request that the seller assist with closing costs, an offer without such a request may set your offer apart from others.

· Don’t rule out a counteroffer. If the seller comes back with a counteroffer, that means he or she is at least considering what you’ve put on the table. Look at the parameters of the counteroffer and if you can make it work, you’ll have your new home.

Engaging in a bidding war can be an emotional process, so let your agent be your guide. His or her experience with negotiating multiple offer situations will be your best bet for outbidding the competition.bidding war