Behind The Scenes - Multiple Offers

While it may be every sellers dream, it’s also a mine field of good and bad. Over zealous buyers who may back out or aren’t qualified; how do you pick them out? How do you position yourself as a seller to be in this position?  I’ll keep this simple for example sake:

123 Main Street has been staged and priced right for the market. It’s in a hot neighborhood. The seller and agent talk about the possibility of multiple offers and decide to ask buyers agents to leave all offers open for a period of time thus giving the seller time to review as many as possible all at once

The listing comes out and within 24 hours the showings are booking up.

Within three days we have 5 offers on the table.

Offer #1 – Full list price, no conditions (meaning no inspection, no financing etc). Local couple eager to move in. 4 months to closing date $1,000 deposit.

Offer #2 – Two thousand over list price with the usual conditions (financing, home inspection etc). Investor planning to rent the property. $5,000 deposit with one month closing date.

Offer #3 – Three thousand below list price with conditions and they want the dining room set. Single male, first time buyer. 2 months closing date with $1,000 deposit.

Offer #4 – Five thousand over list price, all conditions in and wants the dining and living room furniture. Another investor. $4,000 deposit and 2 month closing date.

Offer #5 – One thousand over asking, no conditions. First time buyer. $1,000 deposit and 1 month closing date. Agent verbally states that the buyer will be needing financing.

The Seller – doesn’t want her neighbors subjected to renters if possible. Financially motivated.

The Agent - advises and sets the seller up to sign the documents as follows:

Offer #1 – sends off counter offer with higher dollar figure.

Offer #2 – rejects offer

Offer #3 – rejects offer, too low

Offer #4 – holds off on responding until Offer #1 answers counter offer

Offer #5 – rejects, badly written offer that might not go the distance.

The seller chose Offer #1 to avoid having the property turn into a rental and knew of the buyers. The simplicity of their offer was attractive. They did come up to meet the price and the other offer that was kept on hold was put into back up position. The seller was thrilled with the outcome.


There are many points to know when competing in a multiple offer situation. While price will usually win out there are other factors at play. Your agent will know how to help you position yourself accordingly with the information they gain about the seller. It does help to let the seller know a little about you (not in the case of the investor in our example). It also helps to keep the offer as clean as possible. If you’re desperate to have the mirror in the hall wait until after your offer is accepted to ask for it; don’t complicate your offer. Your REALTOR® will advise you and position you to compete.

Good luck! Our Annapolis Valley market is hot. Both sellers and buyers need to know what they are doing to come in first.

Have a great day!

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