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What is a Multiple Counter-Offer?

Most everyone is familiar with the idea that a buyer writes an offer and then the seller can accept the offer as it’s written, reject the offer entirely, or send back a counter-offer if they agree with some terms but want to change something else. But what if the seller receives more than one offer and can’t choose among them? Is there a way for the seller to counter more than one buyer at the same time? There is, and it’s called a “multiple counter-offer.”


The seller can counter all the buyers back at the same terms, or different terms, and they don’t have to disclose to the buyers what those terms are. It also means that if the buyer accepts the seller’s terms, the buyer is NOT officially in contract with the seller until the seller accepts their acceptance. If all buyers accept the terms of the multiple-counter offer, the seller can either accept one of the offers at that point, counter one of the offers, or send out another round of multiple counter-offers.


From the buyer’s perspective, you should consider if you want to accept the terms of the counter-offer, and then hope that the other buyers DON’T accept, which would mean it’s likely that yours will be accepted. You do have the option to counter their counter, and improve the terms of your offer somehow. That way if all the other buyers accept the seller’s terms, your offer may stand out.


The seller is running the risk that some of the buyers walk away and look for another home. I’ve seen that happen where buyers get frustrated at the process when they think the seller is “playing games.” Sometimes ALL the buyers walk away and the seller is now scrambling to get one of them back in the fold. So the seller’s agent needs to handle this process very gently and professionally.


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


Brian Sharp


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