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I Don’t Want to Fight Over This House . . . but I Love it!

Sometimes you have the unfortunate luck to find a house that someone else wants, too. You are not the only one out there looking with your agent at the good houses when they come on the market. Or waiting for the price to drop to the right number. Some other smart, well-represented buyer may have the same plan. You have stepped into the mine pit known as the “multiple offer situation”. multiple offers2

When this happens, most buyers feel like the rug has been pulled out from beneath them and they have lost all control over the process. They do not even know if there IS another offer. They are afraid to “bid against themselves”. They want to run the other way. Except they really love the house. What can they do?

Understand that the existence of multiple offers must be disclosed ONLY when a buyer or their agent asks about previous offers and ONLY IF the sellers have approved that disclosure. Some sellers may not want buyers to know. But it is usually thought to be in the seller’s best interest to let the parties know there are other offers in order to raise the offer prices. So if the seller has OK’d the concept, ALWAYS ask that follow up question: who represents the other offers? Do you? If the listing agent is on both sides of the deal in the other offer, you would be smart to consider asking if you can by-pass that agent and submit your offer directly to the seller. Otherwise, that agent could just look at your offer, get his buyer to beat it by some small amount, and trump you. This IS permitted under the Code of Ethics followed by most agents.

First and most important, do not submit an offer where you believe there is or will be multiple offers until the selling agent tells your agent (preferably in writing) what the procedure will be that they will follow. Will they “work” just the best offer, will they come back one time to all offers and ask for “final and best” or will they tell each offer what aspects are not acceptable? Let the agent know right off the bat that if the procedure is not acceptable, you will not even be bringing an offer. As the buyer, you have all rights in these things, so you can elect not to make that statement, but it is important for you to know that you have the most leverage at that point. The sellers want any offer and they do not know the amount yet, so they are very anxious to see it. This is the time to make demands. Trust your agent on this.

Believe it or not, it is often NOT the monetary aspects of the deal that make the difference. If it is a seller who has lived in the home for many years, maybe let her know you not going to tear her house down as the other builder-offers would do. Or remove the mortgage contingency if you have the financial means to accept that risk. Some agents will also suggest you remove the inspection contingency. That is a hard thing to recommend unless the home is brand new with a great warranty. Maybe set a “deductible” that assures the sellers there will not be a “nickel and dime” mentality. That works a lot. If the seller has already purchased a home, make the closing date as soon as feasible and just push on the inspectors, lender and title company to move ASAP. That is worth money and peace of mind to a seller.

Lastly, you should send a letter or email saying why the home is your perfect next home and why you will love it as much as the sellers do. You would be amazed how much this counts in a multiple offer situation. The reasons have to be believable, but that is usually not too difficult. You would not agree to be in a multiple offer situation it were not a great house. This is not the time to play “coy” and point out the defects of the home. That technique is for buying a used car, not a home.

 

stop Let’s stop here and observe a few things.

• You CAN have control in a multiple offer situation. You just have LESS control. So you better really want the house.

• You must know the process and establish a level of trust with the other agent.

• Buyers have to be willing to walk away if the process seems unfair or slanted against them. Just leave the door open if the other transaction falls through. Be nice!

• Make your offer the one the seller wants to accept. Think about what matters to this seller and give them whatever you can without overpaying.

To avoid these issues and others when buying a home, use the services of an experienced, trustworthy exclusive buyer’s agent. Sage Realty is one of the ONLY exclusive agencies in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Even if you are buying in another market, ask us to refer you to the best EBA in that area. If you are a first-time home buyer, your fears will be eliminated. And if you have bought a home before, you will have a completely different experience. Contact Sage today.

Featured Testimonial

I moved to PA from Washington State and learned that realty is local. There were things that I thought I knew about buying a house previously but boy was I wrong. Linda was very patient with me but also did not hold back when she saw potential problems, and always made sure I had all the information I needed before making a decision and didn’t belittle concerns to just get a sale. Above all else, and this was the most important thing to me, Linda has a high ethical standard, is very transparent in her approach and is someone I trusted making one of the biggest decisions of my life. – A. Lindsay (Courtesy of Google)

 

Hear From Our Clients

  • "We were so pleased that a co-worker recommended someone in the area that she trusted. Boy, did we strike gold on all counts. You are amazing!"
  • "Instead of trying to take advantage of conflicts of interest, she puts the client's interests first."
  • "Linda is a hardworking, proactive and knowledgeable realtor. Throughout the process of finding and buying our new home, she was always responsive and kept us up to date on every detail."
  • "Linda and the group at Sage are the right fit. You won’t find more knowledgeable, prepared and professional agents."
  • "Linda and Tracey really know the Main Line area."
  • "Throughout the entire process we never doubted that she always had our best interests in mind. We wouldn’t consider anyone else when buying a home on the Main Line."
  • "From start to finish, Linda brought to bear a most helpful combination of experience, knowledge, attention and integrity on a somewhat complicated transaction. There was never any doubt that she represented our interests."
  • "Her knowledge of the area helped us quickly narrow our search and ultimately scored us an amazing home in an incredible neighborhood."
  • "It is hard to trust when you are not sure of the rules of the game. Working with Linda made us feel like we were family. Linda took her time to relay and explain everything in detail."
  • "Linda’s honesty and real estate savviness made for a wonderful home buying experience!"

Read more about what our clients have to say

Hear from our Clients

  • "We were so pleased that a co-worker recommended someone in the area that she trusted. Boy, did we strike gold on all counts. You are amazing!"
  • "Instead of trying to take advantage of conflicts of interest, she puts the client's interests first."
  • "Linda is a hardworking, proactive and knowledgeable realtor. Throughout the process of finding and buying our new home, she was always responsive and kept us up to date on every detail."
  • "Linda and the group at Sage are the right fit. You won’t find more knowledgeable, prepared and professional agents."
  • "Linda and Tracey really know the Main Line area."
  • "Throughout the entire process we never doubted that she always had our best interests in mind. We wouldn’t consider anyone else when buying a home on the Main Line."
  • "From start to finish, Linda brought to bear a most helpful combination of experience, knowledge, attention and integrity on a somewhat complicated transaction. There was never any doubt that she represented our interests."
  • "Her knowledge of the area helped us quickly narrow our search and ultimately scored us an amazing home in an incredible neighborhood."
  • "It is hard to trust when you are not sure of the rules of the game. Working with Linda made us feel like we were family. Linda took her time to relay and explain everything in detail."
  • "Linda’s honesty and real estate savviness made for a wonderful home buying experience!"

Read more about what our clients have to say

Sage Buyer Tips

Use Sage Buyer Tips to research the Main Line and stay up to date on real estate news. This online destination is chock full of resources for buyers and sellers: you can see our Main Line communities or explore Sage favorite places. Browse properties here and search other Main Line real estate. With Sage’s advice and experience, first-time buyers and those looking to upgrade can find homes best suited to their needs.