Escalate your offer
Many buyers think they can save their highest and best offer for the end, when the seller presents a counteroffer. But sellers can simply accept the highest offer and reject the other offers without further negotiations.
One way to get your offer to stay in the game is to add an escalation clause to your offer, Sullivan says.
"You place an offer, and your offer is X, but you have a clause in there that says you will increase your offer by an X amount over any other bid up to a certain point," he explains. "So for example, I'll go in and offer full price with an escalation element of $2,000 up to whatever amount you determine."
It's a safer way of making your offer stand out by letting the seller know you are willing to pay more for the house, without the risk of offering more than what is needed to get a contract. If the escalation clause is triggered, the sellers generally are required to show the other offers to the buyer, Sullivan says.