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What to Expect When You're Expecting...Multiple Offers

Updated: May 23, 2023

In a market as aggressive as the one we’re currently experiencing, there are myriad things to consider when selling your home. Among the most important, of course, is the list price: it’s imperative that your house be priced competitively in an effort to drive the most possible traffic to your listing, and with the way things are going, multiple offers are a likelihood.

multiple offers on house

So what do you look for in a winning offer?

Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question. Every seller is in a unique position to value different parts of the contract. For some, price is by far the most important, but others may prefer to choose buyers who are motivated to move quickly or those they feel value their home from a more emotional perspective. Every deal requires a good look at a dizzying number of factors…and there are always helpful questions to ask, no matter the scenario. How well-qualified is the buyer? Are they putting down a significant amount of earnest money, or will it be non-refundable upon acceptance? Has your agent checked with the buyer’s lender to ensure their financing is solid? And what about contingencies? Will they have to sell another home in order to purchase yours? And is that home listed yet? Is it under contract?

There’s so much to consider when you have more than one offer on the table. So what comes next? Let’s go over some choices you’ll have:

Option 1: Accept or counter one of the offers and reject the others.

This may be the obvious answer if you have, say, two or three offers with one clear standout. However, it’s always a good idea to ensure you’re not leaving anything on the table, so to speak. It’s not uncommon for motivated buyers to significantly improve their offers when push comes to shove…by rejecting any of them outright, you may be closing the door on something that could ultimately have the best opportunity for all sides.

Option 2: Present multiple counteroffers.

If you’re lucky enough to be presented with ten or more offers, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be countering everyone. However, with a manageable number of offers, you may be presented with the opportunity to counter with specifics on each, and this could be a great option to pursue. In such a scenario, you reserve the right to choose the buyer you’d like to process with after all have had the chance to respond to your counter (thus, enabling you to avoid accepting more than one offer).

Option 3 (and by far the most common): Provide all buyers an equal opportunity to present their best offer.

This scenario goes by many names, among them “highest and best” or “bidding war”. Should you take this route, your agent simply notifies all potential buyers that you have received multiple offers, and requests that they revise their initial offer in order to be most competitive. Often, your agent (with your permission) will also advise each of the buyer’s agents on how they can best improve their offers, be it via price, a lease-back, earnest money, or some other factor.

The team at Homeworks Property Lab is experienced. We’re fastidious and fierce experts at navigating this chaotic market on behalf of our clients. If you’re in need of some guidance or just looking for a friendly face in these shark-infested waters, give us a call. We can help.

multiple offers on house


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