Q&A: How a first-time homebuyer beat the competition with less than 20% down

Kurtis Rhee (NMLS ID: 1510803)
By Kurtis Rhee (NMLS ID: 1510803)

What do you do when there are multiple offers on the homes you want and you can never win the bid? Navigating the homebuying process in a seller’s market can be daunting – especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. That’s why we created the Better Offer to help our customers compete and win.

The Better Offer allows buyers in select markets to not only underwrite their finances, but also get the appraised value of their home before they submit an offer. That means they have the option to waive both financing and appraisal contingencies to make their offer as competitive as cash. The certainty they get about their financing and home value is simply the cherry on top.



Better recently talked to a customer who beat out multiple offers by using the Better Offer, putting just 12.5% down on a home in Mill Creek (Seattle metro area).


Can you describe your home buying process? How did shopping in a competitive market impact you?

First-time Homebuyer: We had a steep learning curve as first-time buyers in a super competitive market. After casually touring open houses in the first few weeks, we learned that any reasonable homes were flying off the market and we'd need a good strategy to win an offer. We did not get outbid by an all-cash offer, but we did lose out on multiple offers that were competitive.

Why did you choose to work with Better?

FH: We were introduced to Better Mortgage from our agent at FlyHomes and heard about the Better Offer. It seemed like a good strategy without having to engage in a pricing war. Better was quick and transparent with all communication and we enjoyed the efficient use of dashboards for submitting and receiving critical documents.

Can you tell us more about your offer?

FH: We waived all contingencies before submitting our offer. The fact that we had lending clearance and estimated appraisal BEFORE submitting our offer ensured how much we could escalate without having to stress over the possibility of overbidding. Waiving the contingencies plus the short closing period definitely helped us win this bid, despite another competing offer with a higher escalation price than ours.

The pre-approval and appraisal is without a doubt a very competitive move for any buyer. First-time buyers may deal with plenty of anxiety and uncertainty. This strategy can enhance their chances of winning a bid without sacrificing on their end!

Answers edited lightly for clarity.

Want to learn more about making a Better Offer? Schedule a call with one of our licensed Loan Consultants.



You can also read more about Better’s approach to appraisals here, and get tips on how to make a competitive offer here.