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Negotiating multiple offers

Relish-the-spotOne of the most challenging situations a Realtor faces is dealing with multiple offers on a property. With incredible potential for misunderstanding and missed opportunity, it’s important to remember that the listing agent wants to get the most money possible for the sellers, while the buyer’s agent is looking for the best deal.

It’s a situation that doesn’t have any clear-cut path for a Realtor, but we are guided by our Code of Ethics and our clients.

Whenever I list a home for a client, I always discuss the possibility of a multiple offer situation. I let them know that I’ll provide them with the best advice possible should the situation arise, and that my extensive experience in these situations will be the basis for that advice. However, the decision is ultimately always theirs and my role is to provide the best advice and counsel to assist them and do for them what I would want done for myself.

When representing the interests of a “buyer” client, there are various negotiating strategies that can be employed in both a buyer’s and seller’s markets.

In a buyer’s market – where the competition is likely to be between fewer buyers – I suggest to my clients to sell their existing home first so they don’t need to put a contingency of sale in their offer. I also find out what’s important to the seller, whether it’s a fast closing or no conditions, and advise my clients from there. I also have them prepare for a counter offer from the seller just in case. In fact, the expectation in today’s market is to receive a counter offer.  We discuss this when we derive an appropriate negotiating strategy.

In a seller’s market, my clients are often competing against many more buyers. As such, I have them show they are qualified right from the get-go. With financing in place and a best offer on the table, sellers will know my clients mean business and really want the home. I also let my clients know that it doesn’t hurt to make an offer. They don’t have to take part in the multiple offer process if they don’t want to once it arises, but they never know what may happen in the meantime.

If I am representing a “seller” client, when a multiple offer does come up, I’m charged with submitting all offers objectively and as quickly as possible. All agents must be advised of the existence of other offers on the property as soon as the situation arises. Usually a scheduled time is established to allow agents to present their client’s offer.

Once a buyer is aware that they are competing with one or more other buyers, their agent should be advising them to bring “their best offer” to the table since they may not have a second chance to make a good impression.

After all offers have been reviewed, we determine which offer is best to work with, or if all the offers are unacceptable we may instruct the agents to go back and have their clients re-submit another offer if they so desire.  There are many risks and rewards in determining the most appropriate strategy to follow. Experience in dealing with multiple offers is absolutely critical to ensure the best outcome for my client.

In the end, a multiple offer situation will only result in one sale, leaving others disappointed. Managing the communication with all the disappointed parties is also extremely important.  “Humanizing” the experience and acting professionally and ethically is key in all matters of a real estate transaction but there is some finesse required in multiple offers.

Find out more about multiple offer situations and how I can handle yours by calling me at 289-338-0767.

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