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Competing offers are the norm in this market of limited inventory. Here are a few tips to make your life easier and to set reasonable expectations for you and your clients.

Buyer Agents:

  • The listing agent is not looking out for you, they are representing the seller. If you want to know if offers have been submitted or if they are expected, you must ask the listing agent.
  • If your buyer is hot for a listing and your showing gets cancelled because the seller has accepted an offer before you were able to get there, this is not an opportunity to complain to the listing agent. You could have contacted the listing agent to learn more about the activity and interest in the listing when your client first requested the showing.
  • If you write a competing offer, it is important to make sure your buyer knows they may not get this house. Generally the buyer who wants it the most gets the house.
  • Be able to explain to your buyer how offers are usually compared, including the differences between financing products, inspection contingencies, deposits, settlement dates and other terms. Prepare a list of all of the ways a buyer can improve an offer, and review this list with your buyer when they are forming their offer. Your buyer doesn’t know their options until you explain them.
  • Expect to be competing in every offer, whether you know going in or find out the day after you submit it. This is so common it should be expected every time.

Listing Agents:

  • Use ShowingTime to easily send updates to all agents who have scheduled showings, including a timeline for presenting offers or to notify agents that one or more offers have been received.
  • When you are presenting competing offers to the seller, consider using the PA – Multiple Offer Summary Worksheet (PAR MOS). This form allows you to compare the terms of four offers per sheet. Use as many as you need. This form will help you, and especially your seller, clearly and fairly compare each offer.
  • Promptly notify all agents of the results of the multiple offers. Buyers are anxious, so the sooner the better.

Lisa Naples, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices HomeSale Realty

Facts, opinions and information expressed in the Closing Comments Blog represent the work of the author and are believed to be accurate, but are not guaranteed. The Lancaster County Association of Realtors® is not liable for any potential errors, omissions or outdated information. If errors are noted within a post, please notify the Association. Posts represent the author’s opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of the Association.

Lancaster County Association of Realtors®

Lancaster County Association of Realtors®