How to Win a Brooklyn Real Estate Bidding War 

While many New Yorkers are coping with being cooped up by seeking the solitude of upstate or the space of New Jersey or Westchester, there are still plenty of us stubborn enough to never leave. So many of us in fact, that many places with desirable features—an outdoor space, washer/dryer, a water view—are going for significantly over asking price. 

So what do you do when you’ve found the perfect place but find yourself in a bidding war with someone who thinks it’s just as perfect for them?

  • Offer all cash | We put this one first because, well, it’s an obvious (if typically improbable) option. But if you’re lucky enough to have the kind of liquidity to allow for it, use it to your advantage!
  • Act interested | Home buying is not the time to play it coy. Enthusiasm for a home will not ruin your leverage. If anything, sincere interest can be the tipping point toward sale.
  • Keep in touch | If the listing broker knows you as an interested buyer, it’s more likely they’ll keep you with you when the situation changes and you can remain in the game. 
  • Get odd | Most bids are round numbers but not only will an odd-numbered bid stand out,  it could make the difference between your offer at $623,000 versus another at $620,000 and the monthly mortgage difference to you is negligible.
  • Give ‘em a deadline | The caveat here is to make sure the deadline is reasonable (48 hours) as opposed to arm-twisting (an hour). It’ll help you deal with waiting and let the seller know you’re serious (and can walk away).
  • Get personal | Writing a personal letter to a seller can feel disingenuous to some buyers and too often, it’s scrapped in favor of the wait-and-see approach but think about it—if you’re selling the home where you’ve been marking your kids’ heights on the wall for ten years, wouldn’t you want to sell it to someone who loves it than a faceless name on an offer sheet?
  • Give the seller what they need | Are they asking for things you can accommodate? A quick close, taking the sub-zero freezer, a few weeks extra to stick around? If you can make them happy with simple fixes like these, they’ll be more inclined to accept your offer.


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