What Do You Do When Your Home Gets Multiple Offers?
Imagine you’ve just spent time getting you house ready to sell, it’s all gussied up, and you and your REALTOR plant the for sale sign in the yard. The marketing plan is in full swing and your work starts to pay off—you get an offer! Wait, then another… and another! As we continue to experience a shorter supply of available homes for sale, some homes are receiving multiple offers leaving the sellers wondering what to do next.
Here are the most common options a seller has when presented with multiple offers.
Accept or Counter One Offer
Sounds simple enough, right? The Seller looks at each of the offers and determines that they want to accept or counter only one of the offers. Then they may just reject all the other offers. It simplifies things, but there are risks. They may not reach an agreement, or even if they do, sometimes the deal falls apart later on and it’s back to the drawing board with buyers, and some of the other offers may now how moved on.
Rather than accept or counter only one of the multiple offers, the Seller may elect to provide specific counteroffers to all of the interested parties and give them all the same time frame to accept or reject the counteroffer. This can get complicated, but sometimes it pays off with a higher purchase price. However, there are also risks. Some buyers who get a counteroffer might just move on, and sellers can lose interested buyers who don’t want to get into a perceived “bidding war” scenario.
Highest and Best
Rather than negotiating with only one of the multiple offers, or putting together multiple specific counteroffers, the Seller can just tell all of the people making offers to come back with their “highest and best offer” and give them a deadline. Much like countering all offers you can end up getting more for your home, but you can also chase away buyers who don’t want to feel like they’re in an auction.
Reject or Let Lapse
While this is rarely the case, a seller may choose to reject all of the offers or choose not respond by the offer response time. Perhaps they didn’t like any of the offers, seem too far off to make a counteroffer, or the seller has had a change of heart. Sellers risk alienating those who made the offer, and passing up a chance to at least negotiate with an interested party.
First of all, we should insert our legal disclaimer here—The above situations are offered as a matter of opinion and not counsel, should you find yourself in a multiple offer scenario. It might seem like having multiple offers is a good thing—and it can be, when handled correctly—we think no matter what, you should be having conversations about what to do about them in the pre-listing/pre-buying consultation stage. Hiring an experienced agent or team to help explore the best price, terms, and timeline can help avoid failed offers or costly pitfalls and help achieve the best outcome your buying or selling situation.
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