Entry-level home buyers in Phoenix now have the overwhelming pressure of low inventory and rising mortgage rates. Tables have turned in seven short years since the 2011 trough of the Great Recession. Sellers were then begging for offers. In this market, no longer.

Home inventory under $200,000 around Greater Phoenix has dropped by 26% compared to this time last year. That is even fewer homes with yard signs in a market already pinched for available homes for sale. If you are home shopping in a tight market, your A-game will need to be well rehearsed.

How to win against other offers

These may be incremental changes in the way that you have been doing your home search, but these 10 tips could just give you the edge in a field full of competition. You may finally win first place in those frustrating multiple-offer scenarios. Here’s the list:

  1. Get “full-doc”mortgage pre-approved upfront before you hit the streets with your agent. This means credit report, pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns in the lap of your lender for a confident lending opinion and an ironclad pre-approval letter…upfront.
  2. Get an advance copy of a blank 10-page Realtor® purchase contract and have a mock write-up session with your agent so you know its terms in advance.
  3. Choose an agent who is ready and willing to be consistently available during evenings and weekends.
  4. Write a personal note to the seller describing who you are and why their home appeals to you. Attach and reference the letter in your offer.
  5. Shorten your offer expiration window. Squeeze the time for other offers to materialize. Typically, 24 hours or less.
  6. Leapfrog other offers with an escalation clause. In a multiple offer scenario, my clients may bid $500 over the highest verifiable offer, subject to their review and approval.
  7. Submit a photocopy of your earnest deposit funds with the offer.
  8. Have a pre-selected home inspector ready to go on speed dial. Sellers want the shortest possible window for the buyer’s due diligence period.
  9. Ask your agent for the ability to e-Sign documents. No need to schedule a signing meeting at your agent’s office or Starbucks.
  10. If you offer is rejected, insist that the seller’s agent gets seller rejection signatures on the offer. That way, if the current deal falls apart, you have proof that the seller has seen your offer and was aware of your terms.

Do you have any tips from your home purchase experience that would help others? Drop me a note in the comments below.


I race to win. If I am on the bike or in a car it will always be the same. – Valentino Rossi, Italian motorcycle racer and MotoGP World Champion