SPOKANE, Wash. -- Real estate sales in the Spokane area are up more than seven percent from 2016.

Local realtor Pam Novel said people are pulling out all of the stops to land the deal. When houses are selling fast, you have got to be faster and smarter than rival buyers.

“One of the misconceptions in our industry is that people always think that it is about the highest and best offer,” Novel said.

When you go to buy a house, make sure you have your finances in order. Novel recommends getting a letter from the bank telling the seller you are qualified financially to buy the house.

“Absolutely make sure your prequalification letter has strength to it, that they have verified your assets incomes and last tax records,” Novel said.

You should also try to shorten or waive contingencies. By law, you get 10 days for a home inspection, if you shorten that time period it sends a serious, no fooling around message to the seller.

Buying a house can seem all about paperwork, but presenting your offer in person can make the world of difference.

“Meet the other agent you are talking to. Don't just ship it in an email and send it off, actually meet connect,” Novel recommended.

To put the cherry on top, bring out the emotions of the seller. Novel said sending photos or a personal letter to the seller can pull on their heartstrings. She used this strategy when helping her daughter buy a house on a farm.

“She did write a love letter. It talked about her and her pig Sirloin and how wonderful it would be to live out on this property, and it did work,” she explained.

People usually put a lot of time and love into their homes, so they cannot help but want someone to continue that same care.

Novel said do not get discouraged if you do not get your first, second or even third house, the right one will come along.