Best Tips for Success in a Multiple Offer Situation

Written by Posted On Monday, 18 April 2016 13:18

Living and selling real estate in the Bay area has given me a lot of experience on both a personal and professional level when it comes to multiple offers on listed properties. With 99% of the offers I make on behalf of my clients being in a multiple offer situation, I understand what can make the difference between an offer being accepted or denied. Listings see on average 10 to 20 offers in this region, because of this it takes more than just making the highest bid to buy a home. Often in a multiple offer situation, it is also difficult to be the top bidder to begin with. For a greater chance of success, it is more important to have a good buyer agent who knows how to present your offer.

Seller agents are looking for the best offer for their client, and this includes supporting an offer from a buyer agent whose experience reflects their professionalism and attention to detail.  An agent who knows how to build a relationship with other Realtors®, and understands the process of the marketplace, will increase the chance of their client’s offer being accepted over the other offers.

There are some things you can do to improve your chance of success as well.  Begin with your most comfortable and competitive price.. If you can match what you and your agent have determined is a reasonable value on a property, and it is close to the listing, you will begin with a better chance at having a serious conversation with the seller agent. Check out my previous blog post on Accurate Estimate Values to learn more on this important topic.

As you work up the details of your offer, be reasonable on your demands within your offer. It is ok to include some demands, and your agent should be able to explain which ones are more likely to be accepted or not. Keep their advice in mind as you come up with your final list of what you want included in your offer.  A smaller down payment won’t necessarily keep our offer off the table either. One way to help a seller feel better about a lower down payment is for your agent to present debt to income ratio if it's favorable. This can help a seller and their agent see that there is less likelihood of an offer falling through.

 Some buyer agents suggest writing a letter to entice a seller toward your offer. This can be a nice extra, but it really depends on who the seller is. Get to know the sellers' background before writing the letter, so you talk about what's most important to them.  If you want to include a personal letter with your offer, your buyer agent is the best resource to help you get information you need to write a meaningful letter to the seller. It is standard practice for buyers and sellers to not communicate directly as any real estate transaction can be an emotional, stressful time. Agents that handle communications help keep the process positive and professional. 

There are other ways a buyer agent can also make a difference in the offer process. First and foremost is to provide a clean offer, that is an accurate contract with no mistakes. It is our role to establish a rapport with the seller agent by asking the 'right' questions. These agents want to work with a buyer agent who can communicate in a clear and precise manner. It is the seller agent who will make a difference on seller's decision if they think a buyer agent doesn’t compare to the competition.  A good buyer agent follows the seller agent's offer instructions carefully and helps ensure their client does as well. When you do so, you will make their life easier when sorting through all the offers, a positive way to get their attention. It's very easy to identify the perfect package when it's lined up with other offers. A buyer agent is never pushy for an answer. Follow ups done gently, and with respect of the seller’s time and privacy, are more likely to get serious attention. A part of good follow up includes directly asking a seller agent for help or any ideas they know of that can improve your offer’s chance of winning. Showing an interest in what the seller’s client wants or needs, helps show a desire to work together. These steps along with strong presentation and negotiation skills are all about building a good rapport and business relationship, which are key to successful offers, and what a good buyer agent can do for you.  

When you are ready to sell or buy a home, we at Haylen Group are here to help you with all of your real estate needs! As your buyer agent we will strive to give you the best support we can. Call Helen Chong at (408) 800-LIST or email at You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.


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Helen Chong

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