Make noncontingent offers
Home purchase contracts normally are contingent on financing and appraisal, giving homebuyers the right to get their deposits back if they can't finance the home or the appraisal doesn't support the purchase price.
For homebuyers who are getting a mortgage, waiving one or both contingencies can improve their chances when competing with cash buyers. But it's risky.
"An offer that is not contingent on financing is basically a cash offer," Da Silva says. "I don't recommend it unless the buyer can afford it. If you do something like this, get completely approved, and work with a lender who can deliver -- someone you trust -- to minimize the risk."
As for appraisal contingencies, many listings these days require that offers be noncontingent on appraisal.
That means if the house doesn't appraise for the purchase price, the buyer has to pay for the difference in cash because the lender will only finance based on the appraised value.
This isn't a good strategy for buyers who have small down payments and are low on cash, Sullivan says. But for those who can afford the gamble and are determined to get the house, even if that means overpaying, this would certainly make the offer stand out from the rest.