8 Tips on How to Handle Multiple Offers
Keep It Ethical
You can advise the sellers about the terms of multiple offers, but it’s up to them to make the final decisions. —Article 1
1. Unless the seller says not to bring offers under a certain price, you must present all written offers, no matter how unattractive.
2. Present all offers promptly. Don't sit on an offer because a better one might come along.
3. Present offers in the order they were submitted to the listing broker.
TIP: If you represent buyers making one of several offers for a property, encourage the buyers to make their best offer before the offers are presented to the seller. They may not get a second chance.
4. Make sure all salespeople and buyers understand your procedure for handling multiple offers. Inform them all that theirs is not the only offer.
5. Present multiple offers with all parties present, unless the seller requests otherwise, and provide all parties with the same information.
6. Equate all offers in understandable terms. Price is not the only consideration. Discount points, settlement dates, downpayment amounts, contingency clauses, financing provisions, and repair allowances can tip the scales.
Keep It Legal
Some states have specific forms for attaching offers and counteroffers to the contract. Check with your local REALTOR® board.
7. Select one offer to counter and hold the others as backups if negotiations fall through.
8. Keep each salesperson and buyer informed at all stages of the process.
Portions adapted from “How to Handle Multiple Offers to Purchase,” Leigh-Alexandra Basha, Northern Virginia REALTOR®, April 10, 1989
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