I reviewed my files this weekend and I’ve represented clients in 7 multiple offer situations this year, 2 assisting sellers and 5 assisting buyers. That’s quite a few for what is supposed to be a “slow” year.
The one common thread for all of these properties was that they were well priced. Some of them were priced well right out of the gate. Some of them got to the eventual right price via price reductions. Most of them also showed very well. Some of the homes had been on the market for months. Some of them for just a few days.
As a seller, being in a multiple offer situation is usually a much nicer place to be than if you are a buyer. The seller has visibility to more information and has more control over the situation. A buyer in a multiple offer situation only has information on their offer and whatever other information their agent can gather from the seller’s agent.
As a buyer in a multiple offer situation, the role your agent plays is very important. There is a lot of coaching and strategizing that goes into your response which can make your offer stronger than others presented. In many cases, there are different levers that can be pulled besides just paying more. Additionally, there are questions your agent can ask the seller’s agent that will get you more information which should help you understand how to strengthen your offer.
Being a party in a multiple offer situation is not for everyone. Some buyers refuse to participate in them because they feel there is unnecessary pressure that they do not want to partake in. The house just isn’t worth it to them. Some feel that their offer will just be used to get someone else to pay more for a property (which is completely possible) and they won’t have a good shot at getting the house. There is nothing wrong with NOT participating in a multiple offer situation if you feel it is not the right decision for you.
It’s important to have an understanding of how your agent handles multiple offers and what their strategy is for advising you on how to approach them. Realize each situation may be different though, depending on the house (where it is, how long it’s been on the market, how it’s priced, the seller’s motivation, etc.) and your strength as a buyer. It will always be up to you to determine if you’d like to throw your hat in the ring with others or keep looking for an opportunity where you alone will negotiate with the seller.