We're seeing a very competitive market for home buyers here in the San Fernando Valley. What this means is that you will have to do everything within your power to strengthen your offer.
One of the most important things that you can do is to become pre-qualified with a good lender. Nobody wants to sell a home to someone who cannot even prove that they can afford it. Most of the time a seller won't even consider an offer from a buyer who has no pre-qualification or pre-approval from a lender.
Another tip for you is that low-ball offers never work. Sellers don't appreciate this, and it never works in a bidding war. If you want to offer a lesser amount you better be prepared to sacrifice some terms in your offer.
Speaking about the terms in an offer, you want to make sure that your terms are reasonable and believable. Asking for a new roof won't get you very far with a seller. However, you can strengthen your offer by shortening the time frame for inspections and other events in the closing period. Sellers like to close as fast as possible, and you should aim to do the same.
If you have any more questions about how you can improve your offer, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always here to help!