Buyer’s Guide: How To Win A Bidding War


Before Bidding

  1. Visit the property at least once, but more if possible. It’s important to know the property is right for you, but also to show the agent you’ve seen it and are serious about this house.
  2. Get to know the agent so they can put your face to your name. Trust me, it helps when random calls and email bids for are flying in, if they know you they can vouch for you to their client.
  3. SET A MAX BID. Agree your upper limit you won’t go over. Ever!

Making Offers

  • MAKING THE FIRST OFFER- Make a reasonable but hopeful first bid. Don’t make a cheeky low offer or you’ll annoy the agent & seller.
  • MAKING A HIGHER OFFER – don’t start with small increments (like €1,000 😠). Depending on the property price, €2,000 should be minimum and could possibly be €5,000 or €10,000.
  • GO LARGE! Instead of bidding in small increments, make a big offer that will scare off the competition.
  • MAKE AN ODD BID. When down to final offers, try making an odd numbered final offer. It looks like you threw every penny you had at them and there’s no more in the tank. “OUR FINAL OFFER, €253,540”
  • INSTEAD OF A BIDDING WAR… try asking the agent “what will they take”. You might have to up your bid a lot but you might get out of the bidding war and find a price you will both agree on.
  • PERSONAL APPEAL – write a letter to the owner telling them why you’d love to own this house!

Who is the best Buyer?

  • CASH BUYERS are notorious as the ‘best’ buyer but it doesn’t always mean they win everything. I’d only insist on going with cash buyer if I thought there was an issue with title or planning.
  • FIRST TIME BUYERS can be just as quick to close a sale. Drawdown and some extra paperwork only takes a week or 2 more to close.
  • SECOND TIME BUYERS. Always get your own place on the market before you start bidding on a new property. If you’re sale agreed and contracts out, you should be OK.

For more great tips buy the Irish Home Buyer’s Journal.