Putting Your Best Foot Forward in a Multiple Offer Situation
I put a Centreville townhouse on the market last Monday that has had my phone ringing off the hook. Agents are calling to find out how many offers I have and what they can do to make their offer stand out. Some agents are calling me after submitting their offers wanting to find out how many others I have received since theirs and if there is anything they can do to make theirs better. It's not as if any of these agents didn't know that they weren't going to be up against other offers. And I'm not telling any of them what the other offers contain. It's none of their business. And most are so short-sighted I honestly think they don't understand that if I was the kind of agent that told them what the other offers were, that means the next agent to call would know exactly what THEIR offer contained.
Truly, putting your best foot forward in a multiple offer situation isn't rocket science. It's about finding the terms that would be pleasing to the seller, without feeling you've committed to doing something you can not, or don't want to do as a buyer.
For instance, if you know you are going into a multiple offer situation and write an offer for a certain dollar amount, but would kick yourself if you knew the buyer that landed the home offered $5,000 more than you, why not offer $5,000 more in your offer price? When it comes to price, buyers really need to find that number that if they lose the house to a higher bid they can honestly say, "I would not have paid that much for that house."
When it comes to other terms that make an offer pleasing to the seller, that's where a conversation with the Listing Agent comes in. Maybe the sellers need to find their next home. This means they would need a home of choice contingency that allows them time to house hunt. If a buyer has flexibility in terms of moving in, their offer is the time to show the sellers that. Allowing the sellers more time or post settlement occupancy gives them breathing room. Maybe they would prefer a faster settlement because they are about to settle on their next home. When you ask the Listing Agent, they'll tell you what other terms their sellers are looking for.
Whether there is one other offer, or twenty on a home, when you are competing with other buyers put your best foot forward. Buyers that win multiple offer situations are going all in. They are doing everything they can to be chosen at the moment they write their offer. There is no second chance when you've been asked for your highest and best offer, so putting the best you can offer down on paper is critical. Your best shouldn't need tweaking later on.