Managing multiple offers
SOMETIMES when you put a bid in on a property, the agent may come back to you and tell you there are multiple offers on the table.
Multiple offers is how we describe more than one written offer (not verbal, it must be in writing) for a property at the same time. It can be somewhat disheartening to learn that someone else has their eye on your dream home, but don’t be discouraged, there things you can do to improve your chances.
Here are some ideas to give yourself your best chance:
1. Don’t let someone else buy the home for a price you’re prepared to pay. Pride, tactics and gamesmanship have their place but the market balance is swinging back toward sellers and if there is another offer on the table you might need to submit your best offer first. Go all in and make sure you aren’t left wondering if another $5000 would have got the job done.
2. Remember that price is only one part of the equation. Be prepared to offer a solid deposit; ask the agent what settlement would best suit the sellers; talk to your bank about a cash offer (everyone who bids at auction is doing this) or at least show the agent your pre-approval letter. And leave those special conditions off the contracts unless they’re critical to you.
3. Use an odd amount. You need to do what other buyers won’t do, so try $552,000 instead of $550,000.
4. Be open with the agent but show them you’re no mug. Explain how you arrived at your offer and give them information and examples they can pass on to the sellers. Agents know if you’ve made a written offer you’re emotionally invested in the property, but eyeball them and tell them you have a limit (even if you need to gag your partner who’s ready to give up your first-born if it will end the torture of Saturday open homes).
5. Set a time limit when your offer will expire. Two to three days is a good limit. The seller needs to know you have other options and will walk away if they spend too long deliberating over your offer. It’s sensible to negotiate but it’s also important for your sanity to have an end-game in sight.
6. Be prepared to pay more than the asking price if you feel it’s worth it – remember it’s a notional starting point and in a rising market other buyers may feel it’s worth more.
UNEXPECTED: Dealing with multiple offers on a home you want can be unnerving.