It’s the dream of every home seller (and listing agent) to have people fighting over their house. It certainly increases the chances of closing the deal and getting the right price. However, if you don’t have a strategy to deal with multiple offers, this dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.
For real estate agents, perhaps more so than in any other part of the real estate business, handling multiple offers is a potentially explosive public relations minefield. It is not enough to do the right thing – you must look like you are doing the right thing.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive “best way” to handle multiple offers. Too many different scenarios exist. However for real estate agents, we must always represent the best interests of our clients and our intentions have to be visual, audible and tactile.
With that in mind, for anyone involved in multiple offer situations here are some guidelines to consider:
Listing agents should present offers in the order that they come in. Realtors should be the facilitators of the paperwork, not manipulators of it.
Buyers’ agents should encourage their clients to really think their offer through. In multiple offer situations, potential buyers may only have one chance to bid on the property. This is not a high-pressure sales tactic. It is a statement of fact.
This is no time for games. In an intensely emotional situation like the sale/purchase of a house, with the added intensity of multiple offers, trust is a big issue.
Sellers. Pick the best offer, but don’t burn your bridges. You can only work with one offer at a time. Ask the competing offers to wait in the wings in case the deal falls through. Remember, deals fall through.
Price is often the main consideration. But what are the other elements of the offer. What are the conditions? When is the closing date? Are there items in the property that the buyer/seller want included or removed?
The decision to accept or reject offers is ultimately down to the seller. The agent’s role is to represent them to the best of his abilities. A good realtor will help guide his client through the decision making process, giving suggestions, offering advice. This is not the time for the hotshot realtor to be calling the shots.
Multiple offers are probably the most misunderstood and most complained about part of the buying/selling process. It is important to be careful and get it right the first time.