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4 Smart Strategies to Handle Multiple Offers

multiple-offer-e1351186572950Your home is hot and buyers want it … badly. But how do you know you’re selecting the best offer when you have multiple ones to choose from?  Sometimes it’s not all about the Benjamin’s, baby!

Having so many offers can be stressful if you don’t know how to handle the situation. Here are 4 things you need to keep in mind so you can sell your home and still keep your dignity (and sanity)!

  1. Know What You Want Most –  First and foremost, you need to decide where you’re willing to be flexible and where you don’t want to budge. You’re facing lots of negotiation from several sides, so know where you stand on certain terms before you’re in the thick of it. Do you want the closing date to be sooner than later since you want to move on to a new home you’ve already bought?  Or, if price is very important, are you willing to accept a higher offer even if there are contingencies that you don’t like? Know your deal breakers so you can quickly eliminate the offers that don’t meet them and keep the review process moving in a timely manner.
  2. Don’t Be Swayed by Price Only —  Don’t assume the highest offer is the best offer. Really evaluate each buyer’s entire financial package. There are several factors that can improve a lower offer and guarantee you’ll make it to closing a happy seller:
    • A higher down payment with less financing, or all cash down, signals a buyer is financially ready to buy with little hassle so you can move forward on the deal.
    • Look at the loan type of each buyer, since FHA loans can sometimes slow things down compared to conventional loans if timing is critical for you.
    • Buyers who offer a higher earnest money deposit mean business and you’ll have no worries that they will walk away.
    • Definitely consider buyers who are willing to waive any contingencies or seem willing to work with you on certain terms. No strings attached can be a big plus, even if the price is lower!
    • Ask for a financial information statement.  Nowadays, a lender letter isn’t enough, and you should evaluate the financing strength of each buyer.  By seeing their financial pros and cons, you’ll get a more complete picture of what they can truly afford.
  3. Don’t Take Advantage –  Don’t be hardnosed, don’t mislead, don’t stall, and don’t show a lack of appreciation during the negotiation period before you decide on an offer.  Disclose the same information to all of the buyers and give them the same deadlines. Remember, buyers can walk away and may not want your home if you seem difficult or you keep changing things. Plus, your overall demeanor could backfire when you’re down to the one party and you still need to work with each other to complete the transaction. It all comes down to “playing nice” while still using smart negotiation tactics to sell your home.
  4. To Read or Not to Read those Love Letters – With multiple buyers vying for your home, you should expect each one will write a letter and perhaps send photos showing that they are the perfect buyers who will love your home just as much as you. Here’s their chance to stand apart from the competition and tug at your emotions as you decide on their offer. Reading these personal appeals could either make your decision easier or much, much harder.You usually want to make selling your home a straightforward business transaction and not get mixed up in emotions.  However, selling a home you love IS emotional and very personal, so tread lightly here and keep it all in perspective. The more you know about a particular buyer, the harder it may be to disappointment them (and their cute children!).

You should be thrilled that the market is thriving and you have multiple offers on your home! But, as you can see, it takes some finesse and tactics on your part to make sure you make the right choice for your situation and for your home.