How To Best Handle Multiple Offers on Your Property
Making sure your agent is looking out for your best interest
Recently, representing a buyer, we (I and my client) found ourselves in a multiple offer situation. The selling agent informed me there was another offer on the table and I asked how they’ll be handling it:
Will they counter at highest and best? Or will they submit a multiple counter offer form?
To my surprise, they simply rejected our counteroffer.
What’s worrisome to me is as interest rates continue to trend down, multiple offer situations became more prevalent and as a seller, if you are not completely informed, you really have no idea if your agent is looking out for your best interests or not.
I would never recommend this strategy to my client, to reject an offer without some sort of counter. As the seller, you don’t know what your buyers’ threshold is and if you simply reject the offer, you don’t know what you might have left on the table.
You have the opportunity to respond to both offers.
When you find yourself in a multiple offer situation as a seller, I suggest you review both offers and take one of two courses of action in order to maximize your opportunity.
- Highest and best. Counter both offers asking them to submit their highest and best offer. It makes each of your prospective buyers put their best foot forward if they really want your property. One offer may be intentionally low leaving room for negotiation, and a highest and best throws them into the world where they have to step up if they mean it. Banks do this with their owned properties all the time.
- Multiple counter offer form. Sometimes the price is in line but the terms are not equal. For example, the proposed closing date, amount of earnest money or inspection time frame might vary. This form allows you to structure these terms and conditions for the sale of your property in your best interest.
If you’ve had previous offers that didn’t work out for whatever reason, it might be worthwhile to ask your agent to go back to them telling them you had another offer. This might work to your advantage as that buyer may be on the fence, creating a multiple offer situation. In the many years I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen that happen occasionally.
If you have any questions, let me know.