Insights into Multiple Offers

Multiple offers are great for the seller, but they present an added challenge to the listing salesperson. Niel Thomas, ABR, CCIM, associate broker at Coldwell Banker Fortune Inc. in Anchorage, Alaska, offers these suggestions:

What is the order of delivery in a multiple-offer situation? Should all salespeople present their offers at once?

Thomas: Multiple offers must be presented in the order they were registered with the listing broker, complete with a written and signed offer, earnest money deposit, financial data on the purchaser, and an approximate net sheet for the seller. Set up a time for the sellers to consider multiple offers.

In what time frame is a salesperson bound to present multiple offers to purchase?

Thomas: The rules and regulations of most multiple listing services imply that offers must be presented to the seller with all due promptness.

What’s your advice on the best way to handle buyers whose offers are not selected?

Thomas: The smart thing to do is to keep these second, unsuccessful buyers as a backup position in case the first offer falls through. I suggest negotiating out a final offer with these second buyers and their representative on the understanding that if the first offer does not close, the property will not go back on the market but will be sold to them at the negotiated price and terms. This is a good option for buyers who are really interested in a home because they know exactly what terms they can buy it for; they don’t have to get into a competitive bidding situation. In addition, they benefit from all the due diligence done by the first offerer.

What option do the second buyers have to withdraw from their offer?

Thomas: Give them the option of canceling their offer on very short notice at any time until it is accepted by the sellers.

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