Buyers: Navigating Multiple Offers

Recently, one of my client’s placed an offer on a property that we knew was a hot spot in the WNY real estate market.  As predicted we entered into a multiple-offer situation.  While we went in with a solid offer, his bid was not accepted due to a higher offer.  This can be an emotional break for a buyer.  It’s difficult to get excited about a property if you’re unsure if your bid will be the best in a multiple offer situation.  There’s a few things I as an agent want to share about multiple offers and some of the best ways buyers can handle them. 

 In WNY it’s almost impossible to not enter a multiple offer situation, especially if you are looking to buy in a location “hot spot.”  Seeing a house at your leisure and placing an offer on a property when you’re ready is long in the past.  Buyers tend to have to work seeing a house into their schedules if they even want to see the property before it’s a pending sale or under contract.  Thankfully, some properties now hold all showings until open houses, making it easier for buyers to fit into their already busy schedules.  I highly recommend you make EVERY effort to go to open houses.  Always let the agent at the open house know you are working with an agent if you are!!!  I can’t stress this enough.  The agent at the open house will often contact and pass valuable information to the buyer’s agent.  Also, if you are currently working with an agent, you want to make sure you don’t accidentally start working with another agent (it happens!).  Also, make time to with your agent to schedule showings on properties.  I like to show my clients a few properties in one day/night so it’s easier to compare and possibly place an offer that day.   

 Other than going to open houses, make sure you already have a preapproval and you understand the amount of money it will take to close on a property.  Buyers should not be scrambling at the last minute getting a preapproval so an offer can be submitted.  If you see a property and you fall in love, make an offer! But don’t forget, you’ll need your preapproval to get submit an offer and be in the running for your dream home!!

 Additionally, buyers should consider offering more in a multiple offer situation.  Agents usually know if their buyers are entering into multiple offers.  It is common courtesy for a listing agent to tell buyers’ agents if there are other offers on the table.  As we don’t want our buyers to purchase a property for too much, it does often help an offer if a bid is higher than the list price.  Keep in mind, it is okay to ask your agent if you are overpaying for a property.  As experts in buying and selling, we can usually inform a buyer if he is paying way too much for the property.  However, the offer is always up to the buyer, not the agent.  Also, as a side note, the idea of getting a bargain will most likely leave you without an accepted offer. 

 Once informed of a multiple offer situation, this gives the buyer the opportunity to send in his “highest and best” offer.  You can increase your offer, change your contingencies, give a higher deposit, or a combination of these.

 Some final thoughts about multiple offers.  Buying and selling is one of the most emotional experiences a person will go through if he or she chooses.  Although it is a financial transaction, it is truly an emotional transaction.  Buyers, it’s easy to envision yourself in a house and you might even be dreaming of how you will decorate, but keep it under wraps and try not to get too attached.  You may lose some, but hopefully win the one you want, but try to keep the emotions at bay.  I always tell my buyers: when the house is right, when the situation is right, everything will fall into place and your dream will come true.  Never be afraid to have your agent walk you through a process and be sure to rely on her for advice, that is what we are here for!


Thanks for reading.




Gina Garlock