Multiple offer situations are very exciting for sellers. All of your hard work and careful strategy has paid off and now more than one buyer wants your property! It’s almost certain that you’ll get your asking price, and very likely more than asking. So, how do you set yourself up for multiple offers and how do you best handle them?
1. Begin Showings the Right Day of the Week
If you allow showings too early in the week, you may get an offer before all motivated buyers have viewed your property. If you allow showings to begin on Thursday or Friday, it's reasonable to ask any interested party to wait through the weekend before responding to their offer. If you allow showings early in the week and receive an offer too early, the interested party may not wait through the weekend for a response, so you could miss out on potential offers, or miss out on the first offer.
2. Don’t Give Up Too Much Information:
When buyers hear that there are already offers on a property, they will often choose to skip viewing it because they don’t want to be disappointed. If you already have offers, don’t volunteer that information to anyone who asks. Just say, “You can contact my agent with any questions.” By doing this, more buyers will come to view your property, and they will choose to make an offer before they know that they’re competing.
3. Set a Reasonable Highest & Best Period
When you have multiple offers, you want to give everyone the opportunity to increase their bid. Go back to any interested party and let them know that you’ve set a deadline for everyone to submit their highest & best offer. Set it far enough in the future that all interested buyers can bring an offer, but not so far in the future that buyers will get frustrated and walk away. If you’ve listed your property on Wednesday or Thursday, a highest & best period of Monday morning or afternoon usually works well. This allows everyone sufficient time to improve their offer, and it also gives you more time to show your property.
4. Don’t “Work Up” Buyers
If you have two or more buyers who’ve presented attractive offers as their “highest & best”, it might seem like a good strategy to go to each buyer and ask if they can increase their bid by a small amount, and then go back to another buyer and ask if they can beat that bid. While you
might get a short term gain, this will often backfire in a big way. This strategy leads to buyers remorse more often than not, and you there is a very real risk that one or all of these good offers can disappear. By respecting the highest & best period that you’ve set, and negotiating in good
faith, you have the greatest chance of getting the highest offer available to the closing table.
5. Ask for a Backup Contract
Since you can only pick one winner, there will be at least one disappointed buyer. It’s best to
ask the next highest offer if they would like to submit a backup contract. By executing a backup
contract, it improves your leverage if the first buyer asks for large repairs or a high repairs credit. T
his also gives you security in case the first buyer decides to walk away during their option period.
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