9 ways to crush all-cash buyers

Personalize your offer

Yes, they’re cheesy and sometimes insincere, but a heartfelt letter to a seller who has an emotional attachment to the property can give you an advantage over other buyers.

Last year, Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley found herself in a bidding war in Bayport, N.Y., against a contractor offering all cash. She gained the upper hand by learning something about the seller.

"The seller was born and raised in the house, so there was a lot of sentiment involved," Van Brunt-Wiley says. Along with submitting her best offer, "I wrote and told her why we loved the home and how happy we would be to raise our children in the neighborhood," she says.

She later found out the contractor’s bid was actually higher, but the seller didn’t like the idea of handing over the keys to someone who would just renovate the home and flip it.

"We were all shocked, including the real estate agents — and very pleased with the outcome, to say the least," Van Brunt-Wiley says.