5 Keys to Winning as a Buyer in Multiple Offers!

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Written by Glenn Necklen

When buyer agents submit offers to seller agents, most times the process is straight forward- with the agents and clients having a predictable negotiation process.  Of course, the sale doesn't always come together, but there is a certain normalcy to the process.  

In the case of "multiple offers", things are much different and therefore, buyer agents must do things to set their buyer's offer apart in order to win the sale. Here are 5 things my team has learned to be most effective in achieving this end:

1.  Make The Offer Complete and Thorough.

Purchase offers should always be complete and neatly presented. As listing agents, we too often see offers that are missing pages, terms, or even an important addendum. This instantly makes these offers less appealing to a seller, regardless of the offer price. Another major mistake is to not include a mortgage approval letter.  Shame on the buyer agents who send over offers without proof of financing.  


2.  Tilt The Terms in the Seller's favor as Much as Possible.

For example; NOT asking for several days between inspection timelines, or NOT requesting a seller to pay for lender required repairs. Many items can be negotiated later, so why muck up an offer on the front end. Less items for a seller to counter will undoubtedly make your offer shine.  The reality is, when in a multiple offer situation, it's more important for most buyers to WIN, rather than get every term in their favor.   


3.  Ask the Listing Agent if He/She Can Share Anything to Help You with Your Offer.

Any agent knows that our fiduciary duties require us to remain confidential regarding a seller's price, terms, or motivation.  However, from experience I can tell you that sometimes just by asking a listing agent this question, you get an answer that can give you an advantage with your offer, such as; the seller prefers a longer closing, or the seller cares most about the highest price. Although not good things for a seller's agent to disclose, these bits of information can make the difference for a buyer in multiple offers.


4.  Be Confident and Positive with Listing Agents.

Be sure your agent submits your offer with the confidence that you should win. Attitude and tone can affect the presentation - positive or negative. In a perfect world, this nuance wouldn't matter because listing agents are required to present each offer equally and let the seller decide.  In the real world, listing agents often share how the offer was presented, the tone of the agent, and the manner in which it was delivered. This is precisely where the nuance can have an impact, so ask your agent to put forth their best behavior. 


5.  Win it With Price, DUH!

This may seem obvious, but when you consider the two most important terms of most business negotiations - Money and Time, the importance of price is often underestimated. Most buyers that submit a purchase offer knowing there are other offers, want to win and will compete aggressively to do so.   It then becomes less about the statistical "market value" of the home, and more about what it will take to win. In the current strong housing market, homes that sell through multiple offers often sell well above asking price. THE WINNERS ARE THE ONES WILLING TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN.  


Glenn Necklen is Broker / Owner / Realtor at Necklen & Oakland- Professional Real Estate services in Maple Grove, MN.