In today’s competitive market, it’s not unusual for a home to get multiple offers. So, if you’re planning on buying a home, it’s important to understand how to navigate bidding wars.

So, what, exactly, do you need to know when you’re ready to make an offer on the house, but you’re not the only buyer that wants to call the home their own?

recent article from outlined key insights buyers need to know when they find themselves up against a bidding war, including:

  • Make your first offer your best offer. When a home has multiple offers on the table, you generally only have one shot to grab the seller’s attention—so make sure that your first offer is your best offer. That means to make an offer at the upper limit of what you’re willing to pay and to include anything else you’re willing to make your offer more competitive (for example, waiving a contingency).
  • Write a personal letter. When you’re up against multiple other offers, a heartfelt letter to the sellers about why you want to buy their home could help your offer stand out—and, if the rest of your offer is competitive, could give you the extra help you need to win the bidding war.

    However, these have been coming under scrutiny in many areas recently, so make sure they are still acceptable in your area before writing and submitting one. Make sure to have your agent guide you in what you can and can’t say in your letter if you are writing one to include with your offer.

  • Know that the seller is in the driver’s seat. When you really want a home, it can be tempting to try to force or control the situation. But the truth is, in the case of a bidding war, it’s important to recognize that the sellers are in the driver’s seat—and accepting that all you can do is make your best offer and hope for the best can make the process less stressful.