When a listing receives multiple offers, my buyer clients will ask me, “If we aren’t the highest, offer, they’ll counter us, right?” Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. There are no hard-and-fast rules in how agents handle multiple offers. Sometimes they go through several rounds of counter-offers and they include every offer that came in, or they’ll just counter the top offers. Or sometimes they just take the highest and best first offer.
Whenever there is more than one offer, it can be a very fluid situation. Once buyers find out there is competition for the property they can improve their offers. This means that the “best” offer can quickly get leap-frogged by another offer. It can get to be like an auction environment with buyers upping their offer, or they get discouraged and withdraw their offer suddenly if they think the price is escalating too quickly.
The key idea for buyers to take away is that you shouldn’t assume that you will get another shot at it later. I know some buyers want to start low so they can work their way up on price later through the negotiating process. This can backfire if someone else comes in with their highest offer right off the bat and the seller just accepts it without countering.
Sometimes we find out what the highest offer is. Buyers can’t just assume that if they match that offer the seller will switch to them (assuming everything else is the same). Most sellers feel some allegiance to the buyer that came in higher initially instead of being talked into coming up later.
I am NOT recommending that you “overpay” for a home. My point is that if you’ve been looking for a while, and you have specific needs and you find the “perfect” home for you, come in with a strong offer to start with.
If you have questions about real estate, call me at (925) 240-MOVE (6683). Voted “Best of Brentwood” multiple times. To search the MLS for free, go to: www.SharpHomesOnline.com. Sharp Realty. #01245186