1. Have your mortgage pre-approval from a reputable, local lender ready to go...and submit it to the seller with your offer. A pre-approval from an internet lender or out-of-town lender could make the seller nervous and cause them to lean toward a buyer they feel has more solid financing. Making the seller feel secure with your financing will make them more comfortable with your offer.
2. Make your best offer up front. You don't always know if your offer is the only offer on the table, so making your best offer up front could give you the best chance of having your offer accepted. If they try to get you to raise your offer, you can always say "no" but you might not get a chance to raise your offer if you start low.
3. Write in the seller's preferred closing date. Your real estate agent can reach out to the sellers agent to find out how quickly (or slowly) they would like to move. If it can work for you, offering them their preferred closing date can make your offer more attractive...even if it might not be the highest.
4. Offer higher earnest money deposit. Offering a higher earnest money deposit can show the sellers that you are serious about their property and the money typically goes towards your closing costs anyway. Your agent can help you protect the deposit, but this could be a great way to give you a leg up on the competition.
In Maine's busy seller's market, any of these strategies you can include will up your chances for success. Price is often not the only determining factor in the seller's decision. Every offer is unique so working with an experience real estate agent who can guide you to a successful real estate transaction is key!