I've heard listing agents say they don't care for multiple offers because they are "stressful". That doesn't make sense to me. As a listing agent, receiving multiple offers mean the buyers will present their best offer, which will result in a higher bottom line for my seller.
Price, however, isn't the only consideration in deciding which offer to accept or counter. Terms can be just as important if not more important that the sales price.
When representing buyers I want to avoid multiple offers, but if representing the seller, my job is to get the BEST offer I can on his or her behalf.
When offers arrive, they are opened and reviewed. I've successfully negotiated several multiple offer situations this year. In one example, Offer #1 had THREE contingencies;, financing, a home inspection contingency AND a property to sell. Offer #2 was all cash, (but low) and also with contingencies. A third offer arrived. The buyer realized if they wanted the house, they had to put their best offer forward. In doing so, Buyer #3 won the house.
The seller has the right to determine how multiple offers are handled, and we carefully discussed his options. All three buyer agents were advised there were multiple offers on the property, and were encouraged to submit their highest and best offer.
Once an offer was selected, we then negotiated to fine-tune the terms of the contract.
Following are tips to WIN the house in a multiple offer situation:
- Remove as many contingencies as possible. If you have a house to sell before you can purchase, your bargaining power is lessened. Ask your lender if you can handle two mortgages, at least temporarily. See if there are creative financing options so you can eliminate the contingency to sell another property.
- Don't pile on "extras". Some buyers (or buyers agents) will ask for the sun, the moon, and the stars, and in doing so, they could miss out on the house of their dreams. Don't ask the seller to pay closing costs and a home warranty and prepaid items and a large repair allowance, etc. Don't ask for the three year old stainless refrigerator or the flat screen TV, either. Keep the offer as simple as possible.
- If you are in a multiple offer situation (be sure to ASK if there are other offers on the table), come in strong. Let the seller know you are serious. Offer more than the token amount of earnest money. Find out if there is a preferred closing date that works better for the seller.
- Don't be adversarial. Sometimes being NICE can go a long way. Refrain from criticising the sellers decorating style and always be courteous. Don't turn the multiple offer situation into a conflict and don't be a bully.
Be considerate when making your offer. This is not the time to play games. If you like the house, let your offer SHOW it.
As a Brandon MS listing agent, I have successfully navigated the waters of multiple offers. If you have a home to sell in the Central MS Metro area, call me, because everything I touch turns to SOLD.