As a buyer or seller, dealing with a multiple offer situation on a property can be stressful. Your REALTOR® can provide you with detailed information as to the process regarding your particular situation, but we hope this article will be helpful in giving you an overview of the key points to bear in mind.
Your REALTOR® will usually inform you when he or she learns that a multiple offer situation exists.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to make your best offer in these circumstances as you may not get a second chance.
With your REALTOR®’s assistance, write up the offer as “cleanly” as possible — the fewer terms and conditions you include the more attractive it will be to the seller.
Offers are normally presented to the seller in the order they were received. It’s very important to remember, however, that under most circumstances the seller is under no obligation to consider, respond or counter your offer. Just because it may have been the first offer presented does not mean the seller is obliged to consider it and respond to it prior to considering and dealing with other offers.
Be aware too, that even a full-price offer does not guarantee you will obtain the property — other offers may be for above the asking price or may have more attractive conditions attached such as financing, or possession date, etc.
There may be situations where the seller has given specific instructions to the listing agent not to divulge to the REALTORS® acting for potential buyers that multiple offers exist — there may therefore be other offers in existence that you are not aware of.
Bear in mind that if the seller counters your offer, your offer remains at risk as there is always the possibility that the seller could rescind the counter offer and accept another offer before you have had an opportunity to consider the counter offer and respond to it.
Your REALTOR® may suggest that you accompany him or her and wait outside in the car while he or she presents your offer. This would allow you to make quick decisions should the seller wish to counter.
If your offer is unsuccessful you may choose to make a backup offer which, if accepted, would come into effect should the accepted offer collapse for any reason — ask your REALTOR® for details.
Your REALTOR® will notify the REALTORS® acting for prospective buyers that there are competing offers unless you specifically instruct him or her not to do so. He or she will set up a time when these offers are to be presented.
Your REALTOR® will explain the procedure and ensure that you have a full opportunity to view all offers prior to your making any decision.
As a general rule, the offers will be presented to you by the REALTORS® acting for the potential buyers in the order they were received by you. After one of the REALTORS® has presented an offer, he or she will be asked to wait outside for a decision or to be available to provide additional information if necessary.
In consultation with your REALTOR®, you can then decide whether you wish to accept any of the offers, or counter any.
Under most circumstances, you are under no obligation to accept or counter or indeed respond to any offer presented, but you should discuss with your REALTOR® what your obligations and options would be should you receive an offer that fully meets the terms set out in the Listing Contract.
If you find two offers appealing, you may wish to accept one and have your REALTOR® notify the REALTOR® acting for the second-choice buyer that you would be prepared to accept a back up offer in the event the first offer collapses for any reason.