This morning our real estate agent called to tell us we now own our first house! It was the seventh house we put an offer on so we're so relieved!
The reason we got the house that we did was because our agent works in the same office as the agent selling the house for the bank. It had just been listed on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that day. Our agent called up his coworker and told him we wanted to put in an offer. Because they knew each other and had a good working relationship, we didn't have to offer anything above the asking price. (Ok, we offered $100 more, just to give an even number.) She also promised us she wouldn't accept any other offers beside ours to submit to the bank. To top that off, we got our closing costs paid for by the bank, home insurance for a year, pest control and inspection all paid for as well as.
We got really lucky. My fiance's sister and her husband recently purchased their first house. They had also put in offers on multiple homes. Their agent knew the agent (not in the same firm) selling the house and knew that my fiance's sister and husband were offering the highest bid. Unfortunately, the other agent submitted another offer to the bank that was much lower. Their agent said he couldn't believe that the lower offer got accepted but apparently, it's more about who the agent has a better professional relationship with.
My advice for buying a house without going through the hassles we did was to straight up ask your agent if anybody in their office has any homes for sale with your conditions. You're much more likely to get a better deal this way then going with a home listed through another firm due to the fact your agent works with the other agent on a daily basis. Honestly, it's more about connections than how much you can offer.
More to come,