Today I want to address multiple offer situations and how you can handle them in a simple, direct, and ethical manner.

I feel it necessary to address an issue so many of us have found ourselves in this year. As the market has picked up, listing agents frequently get multiple offers on the same property. How do you handle them in a way that is fair and ethical to all parties, while also representing the best interests of your sellers?

The approach I recommend is very simple. When the first offer comes in, I coach sellers to treat that offer like it’s the only one they’ll ever get. Even if you think you’re expecting another offer right away, it may never come. If you string along the initial buyer too long, you can lose them. Especially if they find out through their agent that you’re hoping to get another offer to play against them.

“If you have a legitimate offer on the table, treat it as if it’s the only one you’ll get.”

If you have a legitimate offer on the table, deal with it as if it’s your only one. If you do get another offer that comes in, there’s a very simple way of handling it. Inform all of the buyers’ agents that you are in a multiple offer situation and each buyer should submit their highest and best offer by a certain date and time that you set.

Don’t try to take your best offer and try to get people to come up to that by sharing confidential information. That puts you in a legally tricky situation that you don’t want to have. When you ask people for their highest and best offer, you’re more likely to get that highest and best offer. You’re also treating everyone fairly and ethically, and it’s the best way to keep yourself out of real estate jail.

If you have any questions for me about how to stay out of this sticky situation or any questions about the real estate business in general, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.