Multiple Offer situations can bring on high anxiety for the buyer, seller and agents involved. However, knowing the best way to handle the process to ease the situation and create clear expectations.
The National Association of Realtors has a great brochure to help explain some of this, but my favorite assistance comes from The Ninja program to be upfront and honest with the co-op agent of all offers on the table. As the seller’s agent, you must first get the seller’s permission before sharing competing offers with another agent.
Once you have the sellers permission, use this tips:
- Be Proactive – Volunteering to tell the other broker about where the other offers are coming from, and not waiting for them to ask sends a strong message that you are playing fair and above board.
- Be Consistent – Use a consistent presentation of multiple offers form so when you are comparing offers, they are all done the same way to the client.
- Be Willing to Share – Share the completed form, which often shows the most common things like price and closing costs, but also things that can make a difference to the seller, like the buyer’s willingness to allow seller possession after closing.
- Be Upfront – When you are working with the sellers and several offers come in, explain to the seller that disclosing to the other buyers there are offers and to come in with your best offer, you are now denying all offers and you could lose some or all buyer’s.
- Be Polite – You’re working hard for your client but remember to keep your communication clear and professional. Speak in person with everyone but follow up with emails.
On the buyer side of things? Follow the same tips but in reverse. Ask the seller’s agent how they handle multiple offer situations and share the form you use. This can show that you want to again play fair and keep the negations moving forward.
Once the seller has decided on the offer to accept, ask if the other parties would like to keep their offers in a back-up offer status. This can help keep the parties interested as you work through the process of inspections and appraisals.
Once the deal closes, send a thank you note to each agent to say thank you for their time. It’s very time consuming to write a contract and compete with multiple offers and we know that only one client wins, but thanking them for their hard work will go a long way. It also reminds them that you followed protocol.