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It’s no secret that many potential buyers dread a bidding war. They’re stressful, time consuming and can end in heartbreak if you’re really invested in a place. Here are some guidelines for making bidding wars as painless as possible and giving your offer an edge.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage. It almost goes without saying that you should be pre-approved for a mortgage before starting to seriously house hunt. Your offer might just edge out a competing one where the other buyers aren’t pre-approved. This also gives you an idea of what kind of monthly carrying costs you can handle and just how far you can go when the bidding gets fierce.

Submit your offer before the weekend. In some cases, it can be a good idea to view homes earlier in the week and submit an offer before the weekend, beating out the open house traffic. Remember, in Canada, there’s no rule that says you can’t make an offer before the listed offer date.

Be upfront about your intentions. Offers that are contingent on financing or other factors won’t stand up well in a multiple-offer scenario. It’s usually best to present a clean offer along with your pre-approved financing. Do you really need that basement window fixed before the sale closes? Make sure you don’t get bullied into waiving the home inspection though, as that’s a crucial part of buying.

Be flexible with closing dates. If the seller has already purchased another property, or needs to unload the home as soon as possible, you might have a bit of leverage over other buyers if you’re willing to be flexible with closing dates. In this case, you might suggest a closer closing date to make things easier for the seller.