How to stand out from the rest

The most obvious way to win a bidding war for your dream home is to offer the highest number. But, that’s not always possible – and you shouldn’t forget your budget or overstretch yourself in the heat of the moment. 

There’s a whole range of other things that you can do to stand out from the crowd – here are some to get you started.


Have a mortgage in principle

A mortgage in principle (MIP) is an official estimate from a mortgage lender confirming that, in principle, they would lend you a certain amount as a mortgage. A MIP is not a guarantee of a mortgage offer, and while it’s not essential to have one, it does demonstrate to sellers and estate agents that you’re a serious buyer and can afford the property you want to buy. 

This can be a big benefit when making an offer, as it shows the seller that you’re serious and have the financial backing to be able to afford the property – which can reduce the likelihood that the sale doesn’t go through. This might help to sway them when making a final decision about which offer to accept. 


Personalise your cover letter

Outlining the things that make this house your dream home can go down well with the current owner – particularly if they’ve put a lot of effort and love into the house themselves. Like the modern kitchen? Or how nice the garden looked? Let the current owner know in a cover letter.

At the end of the day, you’re talking to a person – so outlining details about you, your home-buying journey, and personal situation could help to sway them when they come to accept an offer.


Offer a number that isn’t round 

It’s an old trick, but offering a number that goes against the grain can help to make your offer stand out – especially if there have been lots of others that end in a zero. Remember, you’re competing with other people when you make an offer on a house.

If a seller has a long list of offers that all say similar numbers, the more generic ones are more likely to be glossed over. So take your time when putting a number on your offer – and do your best to make it stand out without overstretching yourself. 


Make yourself available 

Remaining competitive during a bidding war means being available to talk to the seller, or the seller’s agent, and inviting them to contact you with questions about your offer or just to keep you updated on the process. 

Being available when there are two similar offers on the table could make the difference between having your offer accepted, or the seller going with someone else. 


How to make an offer on a house

Your estate agent will have an offer form for you to fill out – so don’t worry about writing your own template when making an offer on a house. Just ask them for this and fill in the blanks before sending it back to them either online or in person. 

Make sure you’ve filled out this offer form accurately – because it’s what the seller will use to determine which offer they accept. This is also when you can include your cover letter and do your best to make your offer stand out. 

By law, estate agents have to submit every offer they receive to the seller, and the estate agent will let you know if your offer has been accepted or declined. If it’s been declined, you can make a second offer – but before doing that , you should try and find out if other offers that were submitted were higher than yours. It’s here that you can reassess your offer if your budget allows to see if you can make it more attractive to the seller – but make sure to remain realistic with yourself. 

If other offers are way above your budget, it might be better to drop out of the running while remaining hopeful that your dream home within your budget is out there waiting for you.


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.