There are some things that prospective home buyers can do to distinguish themselves to sellers, says Stacy Zigman, licensed real estate broker associate with Re/Max in East Meadow:

-- Don't lowball an initial offer, she says. "Even if you end up with a good offer, the seller may still be offended by your initial offer and it could weaken your position," she says.

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-- Present your financial qualifications, Zigman suggests. Present your preapproval letters and credit score -- even if they aren't requested, she says. These show the seller that you're willing and able to buy, she explains.

-- "Be flexible about the closing date," she says. One of Zigman's clients chose a buyer who didn't offer the highest bid but was willing to negotiate the closing date, she says.