With the current market in this area, homes seem to be flying off the market the day they appear on the MLS! It's not quite that bad, but if homes are priced correctly, they seem to sell very quickly. I have had several buyers that have written several offers and not had any accepted. Why and what can you do?
Most importantly, make sure you have a mortgage approval! Make sure your loan officer has done their job, pulled your credit report and run your file through an automated underwriting system. Make sure they are aware of where your down payment is coming from and if there might be any issues. Make sure they have income documentation to avoid surprises later on.
Consider your down payment and what you have available in savings. Can you put more down? Can you pay your own closing costs? Do you need to consider lowering your down payment and paying your own closing costs rather than asking the seller to pay the closing costs? These are all ideas that have been considered in the last couple of months. I have some buyers that are getting their offer accepted and others that aren't – I can't tell you why some work when others don't. I had an agent call me today and ask for advice based on other purchase agreements that I have had accepted in the same price range.
Sharlene is great at sending a cover letter that explains your situation – maybe that is why some of her clients are winning at the bidding war! Make sure your realtor is doing the same thing – it doesn't need to be long, but gives the listing agent a quick glance at your offer. Sometimes agents will have the buyer write a letter about the house and why they would love to buy it. This might help too.
If you have the ability to use conventional financing, it may help you get an offer accepted over someone with FHA financing. If you can have a larger down payment (unless it means asking for closing costs) or maybe a larger earnest money check. Both can help you get your offer accepted.
Another thought is to ask your agent to ask the listing agent why they took another offer over yours – they may not give you an answer, but it's worth asking about.
Be prepared and make sure you are ready to go – get any documentation to your loan officer that they ask for. The more documentation your loan officer has, the better prepared they are for your loan and any questions that might come up. Once your offer is accepted, make sure you stay in touch with your loan officer to get your mortage through underwriting and into closing!