A multiple offer situation arises when a seller receives competing offers from two or more prospective buyers to purchase the listed property. The market conditions for multiple offers generally occur when there is a high demand for properties and a low inventory of listings or when the property is being sold by auction or a similar process sometimes referred to as an “Immediate Sale”. The primary objectives at all times are to represent your customer’s/client’s interest in the transaction and comply with the requirements of the Code of Ethics, the MLS rules, and the Company’s best practices. Multiple offers can be confusing for the seller, the prospective buyers, and even Realtors® if they do not understand the process and what obligations and options come into play for each person in the transaction.
Timely and honest communications reduce the stress for everyone while ensuring each offer is presented in an objective manner.
While a Realtor’s® primary duty is to protect and promote the interests of the client/customer, Realtors® are not relieved of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. Honest is not the same as fair. Sellers alone make the ultimate decision about what is in the seller’s best interest and how the seller wants to process the multiple offers received. Prospective buyers need to know: sellers do not have to treat the competing buyers fairly when negotiating with them nor must the offers be negotiated in the order they are received.
Seller Options: The seller has several options in responding to the multiple offers submitted. The seller decides on how to proceed and the listing agent’s duty is to provide counsel and explain the process to help the seller make an informed decision in the seller’s best interest. Seller’s options: 1) Accept one offer and reject the others; 2) Reject all the offers; 3) Work with just one of the prospective offers and counter that offer and reject the others; 4) Allow all of the prospective buyers the opportunity to improve their offers and present their “highest and best” offer by a set deadline. Upon receipt of the offers, the seller would then make a decision.
For more details and information, talk to your licensed real estate professional.