Multiple Offers in Real Estate: A Guide

Dated: March 29 2021

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Have you ever wondered what it means when a real estate agent talks about multiple offers? Although this process might seem overwhelming, it is not complicated. Here is our guide on how to better understand multiple offers. 

Click here to hear Christan Bosley, President & Broker of Record talk about multiple offers.


What are multiple offers in real estate?

Simply put, multiple offers occur when multiple buyers bid on the same listing at the same time. This means that a buyer will be putting an offer on a house that already has an offer.

Why are there so many multiple offers in today’s market?

Multiple offers on a house occur whenever there are more buyers than properties available. In other words, when there is less supply there is often more demand, resulting in a “hot” or highly competitive market. 


What are the seller options in multiple offers?

If there’s a good chance that the property will receive multiple offers, you and your Realtor® can discuss different strategies ahead of time. 


Sellers can accept offers as they come in or choose to only accept offers after a certain date. Sellers can also tell their Realtor® that they don’t wish to be informed of any offers until a certain date. 


Such decisions must be made before sellers put the property on the market. If sellers decide to delay the offer date, there is a form that must be signed. This is in order to make sure that everyone - sellers and buyers - are aware of the timelines and when offers must be made. 


The seller can accept one of the offers or they may make a counteroffer. They can reject all of the offers or ask to have some or all of the offers resubmitted. 


What are the buyer options in multiple offers?

In these situations, buyers don’t often have the same negotiating opportunities as they would with only one offer. It’s best to assume that you have only one chance to submit your offer and have it accepted by the buyer. 


How can buyers improve their options of having their offer accepted by the seller?

Price is the most important aspect in multiple offer scenarios. Buyers need to know what the house is worth, how much it will appraise for, and how much they are willing to spend, especially if they need to offer more than the asking price to get accepted.


Buyers should also make sure that the closing date is as close as possible to what the seller has requested.


Providing a larger deposit might convince the seller that you are more committed to purchasing the property.


Making your offer more attractive to the seller could mean limiting the conditions on your offer. You can accomplish this by having a building inspection done or getting pre-qualified for your financing. While you might increase your risk by submitting an offer with no conditions, you have a better chance of having it accepted if you have fewer conditions.


Can buyers find out what the other offers are?

No. This is a closed process so neither you nor your Realtor® will be able to find out what other buyers have offered to the seller. 


There are a few things that must be disclosed to all parties, however. You can find out how many other offers have been received, whether or not the brokerage of the seller is representing one or more of the buyers, and if there is a financial advantage to the seller from any of the buyers.


This is why you have to put your best foot forward to ensure you have the best possible opportunity at winning that bidding war. 


How can a Realtor® assist in the process?

Whenever possible, the buyer’s agent should conduct the real estate offer presentation to the seller. This way, the agent can “sell” the buyer and their offer to the seller. 


Once offers begin to come in, the decision process can feel overwhelming to the seller. This is where the expertise of your Realtor® will prove to be invaluable. Your Realtor® has the experience and knowledge to compile the information together and present it to you in a way that helps you make the best decision for you. 


The Bosley Difference

While ultimately, it is your decision on which offer you would like to accept, but your Realtor® is there to guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have.


Bosley Real Estate can help both buyers and sellers navigate multiple offers. We’ve been through the process many times so don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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