Agents, Here Are 4 Tips for Presenting Multiple Offers to a Seller
In today’s market, it’s more common for listing agents to find themselves in multiple offer situations than not. However, that doesn’t mean that presenting multiple offers has gotten in any easier. If you struggle to manage juggling multiple bids at one time, keep reading. Below is a list of tips that are meant to help you navigate this process with ease.
Use these four tips to make presenting multiple offers much easier
1. Listen to what’s important to your seller.
Truthfully, helping your seller sort through multiple offers starts well before the first offer even comes in the door. In fact, it may even happen before your seller puts their home on the market. Put simply, as you talk to your client, you’re going to want to listen to their motivation behind selling their home. Once you know that, it will be much easier to figure out which offers are going to appeal to them when the time comes.
While some clients may be totally focused on their home’s sale price and their bottom line, others may just want to find the easiest route to the settlement table. Other clients may also feel the need to stick to a specific timeline. Whatever your client’s specific motivation might be, once you have that information, you can more easily negotiate in their best interest.
2. Develop a system to help you stay organized.
Once you’re ready to start accepting offers, it’s crucial to stay organized. These days, many agents are setting an offer acceptance deadline, which typically falls a few days after the home was first put on the market. In this case, setting a deadline for offer submission will help you ensure that everyone gets the same chance to see the property and to put in a bid. In essence, it evens the playing field.
Then, as offers start streaming in, it’s your job to keep track of which ones may be most attractive to your client. Keeping their motivation in mind, you’re going to want to organize them in such a way that puts the most viable offers at the top of the stack. If you don’t have your own system for doing this already, there are many multiple offer spreadsheet templates out there for you to use.
Here, it’s best to choose a spreadsheet template that clearly outlines all the key information in an offer, such as purchase price, settlement date, contingencies, and any other special provisions that may set an offer apart from the pack.
3. Keep the focus on the facts while presenting multiple offers.
After you’ve organized all of the offers into a digestible format, the next step is to present them to the seller. At this point, your main focus should be to help your client close out the sale of their home without risking a Fair Housing Act violation. You can do that by making sure to keep the focus of the conversation on the facts, or the details of the offer that pertain to the sale of the house themselves rather than who the buyers are as people.
In this market, seller love letters are looking more and more like a relic of the past. While a few buyers still choose to include them with their offers, most listing agents are choosing not to present them to their clients. While those letters are a nice idea in theory, there’s a chance that they could be more trouble than they are worth.
4. Let your client make the final decision.
Lastly, as the listing agent, it’s important to remember to take a step back when it’s time for the decision to be made. Ultimately, your seller has the final say in who is fortunate enough to be the next owner of their home. While it is your job to educate them on things like the risks of accepting an offer with contingencies attached, at the end of the day, they have the final say.
After a decision has been made, it’s up to you to deliver both the good and the bad news. Typically, agents whose clients lost out on the home will want to hear a reason why another offer was chosen over their own. In this instance, your best bet is to be truthful — but vague. Let the other agents know what the deciding factor was, but keep the discussion brief.
The bottom line on presenting multiple offers
Like it or not, it seems like multiple offer situations are not going anywhere anytime soon. As an agent, you’re going to have to learn how to navigate these tricky situations. Fortunately, once you do it a few times, the process does get easier. Until then, use these tips to help you get better at presenting multiple offers with ease.