Multiple Offers…some suggestions

So it might seem with the news you are hearing about the market that multiple offers are a thing of the past.  Not so.  In fact I am seeing an increase in the number of times that my clients are finding themselves competing against another buyer for the house they want.  How can that be?

I think the explanation is this.  Buyers are out there and they want the perfect house at a great price.  And when they find it, so have 1 or 2 or even more other buyers- all looking for the same thing.   So what can you do to make sure that your dream house actually becomes your home.   Here are two things I’ve used successfully in the past to win in a multiple offer situation.

Let’s set up a scenario.  The home you are looking at is listed for $200,000, has been on the market just a few weeks, and you have been told by the listing agent that you are in multiple offers.  Odds are in multiple offers you may come close to paying list price if you really want the house (or even over list price) but lets say you are hoping to get the home for $190,000 but would be willing to go up to $205,000 if you had to.

First, consider adding an escalation clause to your contract.  This clause says that you the purchaser offer a purchase price of $190,000 but you will pay $1000 over any other verifiable offer up to $205,000.  This clause basically allows you to come out on top in any situation where the other offer was lower than $205,000 but it keeps you from having to go that high right off the bat.  So if the other offer had been $200,00, your offer becomes $201,000 and you win.  Of course, you want to be sure there was really an offer for $200,000 so that is where the “verifiable” comes in to play and we would request a copy of the other offer. 

The other strategy I employ is the buyer letter.  I use this primarily for first time home buyers and have seen its success quite a few times.  What I do is ask my buyer to write a letter to the sellers.  They should thank the seller for letting them tour the home, tell them a few things they kike about the house, and how much they are looking forward to making it their first home (or something similar).  Short and sweet but it helps the seller see my buyers as people and many times makes them more sympathetic and friendly throughout the process. 

I hope these strategies are helpful to you.  If you have any questions about multiple offers, or if you are ready to get out there and find your own great deal- give me a call!


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