9 ways to crush all-cash buyers

Increase your down payment

The most common reason a home sale doesn’t close is that the buyer’s financing falls through. And financing often falls through after the appraisal.

Appraisals are problematic in a rising housing market because appraisers rely on previous sales to set the value, a key determinant of how much you can borrow. When recent comps lag current home values, the home might appraise well below the contract price, and you may not be able to borrow enough to complete the sale.

Put more skin in the game, and you improve your odds.

"A purchase with 50% financing is significantly stronger than a purchase with 80% financing because it's far more likely to close," says real estate agent Ben Kruger of Teles Properties in Beverly Hills, Calif. "With more equity in a home, a lender … is going to be far less concerned with appraisal. There is simply less risk for the lender."