The deep freeze that plummeted parts of Ontario into the coldest month on record wasn’t all that February will be remembered for. Multiple offers, also referred to as competing offers, were also a popular topic of discussion in the local real estate market. Multiple offers exist any time more than one buyer submits an offer on the same property commonly called “bidding wars.”
Buyers braved the frigid temperatures, often times in snow squalls, in an effort to beat other buyers to see the newest properties offered for sale. There was no claiming a snow day for sellers as they had to keep their driveways and sidewalks cleared of the white stuff to maintain their homes in showcase condition for prospective purchasers.
Multiple offers can be a seller’s dream come true as often times homes sell for asking price or more (yes, I said more) as buyers compete for their offer to be selected by the seller. Upon presentation of competing offers, the happy home owner has a number of options to consider.
The seller can:
1. Accept one of the offers and reject the other(s);
2. Counter offer one and reject the other(s);
3. Reject all of the offers asking buyers to improve their original offer;
4. Sign one of the offers back to the buyer while at the same time holding on to the other offer(s) while waiting for a response from the buyer who received the counter offer;
5. Hold on to one or more offers while sending the other offer(s) back to the buyers for improvement; or
6. Hold on to a couple copies of each offer, and send the other copies back to the buyers for improvement if they so desire.
Opting for 4, 5 or 6 will all depend on the irrevocable times and dates contained in the buyer’s offers. Irrevocable refers to the length of time that a seller has to consider an offer. Once the irrevocable has passed the buyer’s offer automatically becomes null and void. Sounds complicated? Your REALTOR® should be able to explain the consequences of each scenario to you in detail.
Of course each of the options available to a seller when dealing with more than one offer has pros and cons associated with it. For example, if the seller accepts one of the offers the obvious pro is that the property is on it’s way to being sold (pending fulfillment of any conditions that may have been included in the offer). However, when a seller accepts one of the offers the opportunity is lost to try to negotiate better price or terms.
As if buying or selling a property wasn’t stressful and complicated enough! Add to the mix the complexities of bidding wars and your stress level might reach an all time high. An experienced REALTOR® can offer you sound advice and counsel when buying or selling a property during the sophisticated process of multiple offers.