Can I write offers on more than one home at a time?

Real Estate Agent with RE/Max Infinity - DRE# SA528757000

phoenix real estate

With bidding wars the norm for buyers in the Phoenix metro area, it's not surprising that this question comes up frequently these days.  Buyers are getting tired of writing an offer, waiting for the bids to be reviewed and then losing the bid only to have to start over again. 

"Why don't we just write offers on the 3 homes that I like and see which one sticks?"

There are only two ways you can write offers on more than one property at the same time. 

1.  You can afford to purchase all of the homes you are writing offers on at the same time and have the pre-qualification letter from your lender to prove it


2.  You clearly state on your offer that this offer is one of multiple offers you are making on different properties and that you will decide if you want the home after the seller has accepted your offer.  In Arizona, we have a form specifically for this purpose that must accompany a "multiple" offer on a property.

The problem with option 2 is that a seller is not likely to give your offer any consideration since you won't come across as a serious buyer.  Think about it.  Why would a seller choose your offer over the other offers received when you're basically saying you're not even sure if you want it?

I know it's frustrating.  One of my buyer's agent just wrote the 29th offer for one of her FHA buyers and voila...offer accepted.  Patience and perseverance is the name of the game in today's real estate world here in the Phoenix metro area.

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Tammie White
(615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty, Franklin TN

Amy, I would definitely advised against writing multiple offers. As you said, if they do that they better have the cash flow to buy two homes.

Jun 03, 2012 08:17 PM #1
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate 818.516.4393 Cell

Hi Amy --- I have had clients write offers on multiple properties but always with the written language that the buyer is(or may) be writing offers on multiple properties with the intent of purchasing just one.  I also make a telephone call to let the listing agent know as well so he/she understands.  Typically, this has been on bank owned properties where the response time is slower.  Usually, this is a tactic that is used after losing multiple properties --- I can't say I've had a client lose 28 properties -- congrats to your buyers agent and the buyer for sticking in there.

Jun 03, 2012 09:13 PM #2
Gary Frimann
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

29 offers?  That is persistence.  I hope it is the best home that they wrote on. 

PS-- Glad to hear the Metro area market in Phoenix is coming back, and strong.

Jun 03, 2012 10:32 PM #3
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

I don't see a problem here. Your clients are making an offer... JUST an offer. There is no commitment on their part, and there is no commitment on the seller's part.

As a buyer's agent, you have to act in the best interest of your clients, and that can mean making 2 or 3 offers at the same time.

Jun 03, 2012 11:36 PM #4
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
Tell me that is a typo up there. Do you really mean 29 offers? Oh my goodness!
Jun 04, 2012 12:19 AM #5
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

That sounds like a lot of offers (29) Amy! Many don't even look at that many homes.

Jun 04, 2012 01:52 AM #6
Kathryn Acciari
RE/MAX Professional Associates, with offices in Sturbridge, Charlton, Auburn, Spencer, and Shrewsbury - Sturbridge, MA
Realtor - Sturbridge MA Real Estate

We are seeing multiple offers in our area too, on hot properties. It is frustrating for buyers, after the past two years of having had time and numerous properties from which to choose.  The market sure changes quickly!

Jun 04, 2012 03:42 AM #7
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

Great advice but it is suprising how many agents are willing to write multiple offers for buyers who are only qualified to purchase one house.

Jun 04, 2012 07:16 AM #8
Brian Park
Park Realty Investments - Murray, UT

It really isn't as big as problem as you think. It is a matter of writing the offers properly and presenting them properly. Now in my original marketplace the buyers agent presented the offer with the listing agent so you were only presenting only one offer at a time anyway, the buyer put them in their order of preference and they were presented in that order, so no double commitments.

In the areas where the listing agent presents the offer, a really stupid practice, allowed by incompetent buyers agents, the contract allows for the seller to accept and it is only for a few hours at the most until the other offers are officially canceled and a seller feels OK. But clauses in all the offers cover problems that might show up due to the multiple offers, just have a well written addendum instead of trying to fit a clause into the main contract. And try to get the listing agents to present them in order of preference, not so easy.

Jun 04, 2012 09:55 AM #9
Amy Jones Group
RE/Max Infinity - - Chandler, AZ

Tammie~ I agree..totally!

Michael ~ Yes..29 offers.  21 of those offers were written with another (part time) agent and the buyer got tired and contacted us to try a different avenue.  8 offer later...a home.  It's a tough market out there!

Gary ~ 29 at a time!

Donald~ Don't know what the rules are in your area...but in Arizona it MUST be disclosed that a buyer is making multiple offers which is usually suicide when a buyer is competing with dozens of offers on the same property.

Cheryl ~ Yep...29 offers!

Kathryn ~ what a difference a few months makes, right?

Kathryn ~ That's the problem we have here too.

Brian ~ The BUYER put them in order of preference? our market today, sellers are receiving dozens (one seller received 43 offers on their property the first day it was listed. IS a problem for a buyer trying to get an offer accepted when competing with 42 other offers while including an addendum that states..."Well, mr's my offer.  Please accept it over the other 42 offers even if I'm saying I may not want it."  Not going to happen.

Jun 04, 2012 10:58 AM #10
Anna Banana Kruchten
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Amy I get asked this question all the time, particularily with investors.  My answer is the same as your. Can you afford to buy them all?  If yes - sure let's write em up.

Jun 04, 2012 05:52 PM #11
Frank Iglesias
Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments - Lawrenceville, GA
Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor

Post two sums it up.  In our market, buyers are constantly frustrated at losing multiple offer homes over and over again.  They bid above list and market value and more and still lose.  Multiple offers stating you have the right to offers on other properties saves everyone time.  

As a Seller, if I think someone is serious, I don't let the multiple offers on multiple properties bother me.  If I counter, one of the contingencies is they have to switch to being on my property.  Banks tend to do the same (unless the Buyer is an investor).  Simple as that.  

One offer at a time is great until you are in a hot market where every nice property has a bunch of offers.  That wastes a ton of time and Buyers start looking at you as the expert to start saving them time!

Jun 04, 2012 08:46 PM #12
Amy Jones Group
RE/Max Infinity - - Chandler, AZ

Anna~ Really the only answer there if only all agents played by the rules.

Frank ~ Problem is...when the buyer finally decides which home they want AFTER the seller accepts their offer, time is wasted.  As a seller I would lean towards taking the offer that might not even need a counter.  Now THAT's a time saver!

Jun 04, 2012 10:08 PM #13
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411


29 offers?  Oh that's painful.  I sure hope it closes.  Good topic when buyers are offering on short sales and then have to wait and wait and wait for the lender's response.  Too often the idea of writing multiple undisclosed offers comes from the agent.

Jun 05, 2012 10:33 AM #14
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