How to Present Multiple Offers with Buyers
In today’s limited market, many of our professional conversations focus on multiple-offers situations for sellers. There are plenty of courses and guides on how to position a home to receive the maximum return based on competitive offers, as well as how to present multiple offers to our sellers in an organized fashion.
However, there is very little literature on effectively writing simultaneous offers for buyers. This is a unique approach and must be done with great care and full disclosure.
Full Disclosure on Multiple Offers
For the buyer agents willing to go against the grain, writing multiple offers for one client in the same weekend for different houses might work. They may risk blowback from the listing agent, however. Full disclosure is imperative. Written acknowledgment from the listing agent and the seller is even better. This multi-offer approach could work in the best interest of a frustrated buyer tired of making offers and being repeatedly outbid, and every realtor is charged with working for his or her client's best interest.
Advantages of Simultaneous Offers
Investors are one set of buyers that can benefit greatly from the practice. They're often looking for a certain style of home, within a price range and hoping to purchase multiple homes within a short time frame. Realtors who represent buyers know each week's listings are met with multiple buyer offers. Running clients around to see new homes every week, selecting one, and being outbid by other buyers can be a vicious cycle. For an investor who has a bit of latitude in terms of style and price, writing offers on multiple homes at the same time can create the opportunity to lock up a number of properties in a short time frame or to improve the probability they will secure one property in a given week. If you've already been through a number of unsuccessful bidding wars with them, they may be ready to start pursuing a more aggressive strategy with simultaneous offers.
Buyer Must Have Intent
Writing simultaneous offers should only be done when the buyer fully intends to buy any of the homes involved. This works within the professional standards of our industry when the buyers present a good-faith intent to buy. Buyers should be of the mindset that whichever seller signs the contract first, that’s the house they’re buying. The usual showing schedule includes visiting the week's new listings with our clients on Saturday and then writing a single offer for their top choice on Monday or Tuesday when the sellers are reviewing offers. If, instead, we write offers on two or three homes during the weekend, we may be able to force a seller's hand a bit.
Manage Simultaneous Offers the Right Way
We should be prepared to immediately rescind any other open offers once our buyers have reached mutual acceptance on a home. Writing simultaneous offers might give us some leverage, but the goal isn't to unduly burden sellers and listing agents with offers that won't come to fruition. As long as unaccepted offers are pulled quickly and the sellers' agents are informed in a timely manner, agents can create a strategic advantage for their buyers and still leave all of the sellers involved in a position to consider other offers.
Realtors also get burned out in this inventory-crunched market. Getting buyers into contract and leading it to a successful closing often requires creativity, coaching, and even extra paperwork. Writing simultaneous offers might just be the tactic that works for your clients and your agents, but it needs to be done with great care and full disclosure.