Pat Starnes Snippets: How To WIN the House in Multiple Offer Situations

How To WIN the House in Multiple Offer Situations

I've heard listing agents say they don't care for multiple offers because they are "stressful".  That doesn't make sense to me. As a listing agent, receiving multiple offers mean the buyers will present their best offer, which will result in a higher bottom line for my seller.


Price, however, isn't the only consideration in deciding which offer to accept or counter. Terms can be just as important if not more important that the sales price. 

Terms and Conditions


When representing buyers I want to avoid multiple offers, but if representing the seller, my job is to get the BEST offer I can on his or her behalf.


When offers arrive, they are opened and reviewed. I've successfully negotiated several multiple offer situations this year. In one example, Offer #1 had THREE contingencies;,  financing, a home inspection contingency AND a property to sell. Offer #2 was all cash, (but low) and also with contingencies. A third offer arrived. The buyer realized if they wanted the house, they had to put their best offer forward. In doing so, Buyer #3 won the house.


The seller has the right to determine how multiple offers are handled, and we carefully discussed his options. All three buyer agents were advised there were multiple offers on the property, and were encouraged to submit their highest and best offer. 


Once an offer was selected, we then negotiated to fine-tune the terms of the contract. 


Following are tips to WIN the house in a multiple offer situation:


  • Remove as many contingencies as possible. If you have a house to sell before you can purchase, your bargaining power is lessened. Ask your lender if you can handle two mortgages, at least temporarily. See if there are creative financing options so you can eliminate the contingency to sell another property.


  • Don't pile on "extras". Some buyers (or buyers agents) will ask for the sun, the moon, and the stars, and in doing so, they could miss out on the house of their dreams. Don't ask the seller to pay closing costs and a home warranty and prepaid items and a large repair allowance, etc. Don't ask for the three year old stainless refrigerator or the flat screen TV, either. Keep the offer as simple as possible.


  • If you are in a multiple offer situation (be sure to ASK if there are other offers on the table), come in strong. Let the seller know you are serious. Offer more than the token amount of earnest money. Find out if there is a preferred closing date that works better for the seller.


  • Don't be adversarial. Sometimes being NICE can go a long way. Refrain from criticising the sellers decorating style and always be courteous. Don't turn the multiple offer situation into a conflict and don't be a bully.  


Be considerate when making your offer. This is not the time to play games. If you like the house, let your offer SHOW it. 


As a Brandon MS listing agent, I have successfully navigated the waters of multiple offers. If you have a home to sell in the Central MS Metro area, call me, because everything I touch turns to SOLD.Everything I touch turns to SOLD


Written and Published by Pat Starnes REALTOR

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Pat specializes in Residential and New Home Sales 

Primary Service Area:

Brandon, Pearl, Ridgeland, Flowood, Madison and the Ross Barnett Reservoir area

 Pat Starnes, Broker Associate

Front Gate Real Estate, 6700 Old Canton Rd., Suite C

Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-991-2900 - Office

601-278-4513 - Cell


Recent Blog Posts by Pat Starnes:


Greenfield Station in Brandon MS Continues to Grow

Six Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Home Inspection

Should You Consult a Realtor When Buying New Construction?

Homes for Sale in Scottish Hills ~ Brandon MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Hidden Hills Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Castlewoods Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

Gardens of Manship Neighborhood Information - Brandon, MS 39047


Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Brandon MS market? Call me!

Comment balloon 12 commentsPat Starnes-Front Gate Realty • May 17 2018 10:41PM


Good morning Pat - good information for serious buyers.  If they take this information seriously they will win. 

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 1 year ago

Those are excellent strategies, Pat!  I suspect you win many successes practicing them!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 1 year ago

Good advice, Pat. I personally don't like multiple offer situations and have been in 3 this week alone.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 1 year ago

Excellent tips Pat!

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 1 year ago

Multiple offers are not the time to put a wish list into your offer.  Be realistic and be competitive.  Don't be greedy.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 1 year ago

Thank you Myrl Jeffcoat and Grant Schneider. Buyers and sellers hire us for our expertise. They should be willing to take our advice as we've seen it all happen.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Three multiple offers in a week Debbie Reynolds? I hope you were on the listing side, and if not, I hope your clients won the house!

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Thank you Sheri Sperry - MCNE®.

I knew you would understand Chris Ann Cleland

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Great post!  I start out by asking what the seller is looking for in a title company, price, closing date, and anything else I can think of to sweeten the offer.  Showing cooperation from the get-go always helps seal up a contract.  Agents that are difficult to work with, don't communicate, and don't work to pull a deal together will lose every time!  

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) about 1 year ago

I ask those same questions Jan Green when representing a buyer. Cooperation goes a LONG way toward satisfied clients.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Pat it is not easy when you represent the buyers but in spite of that awesome advice, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) about 1 year ago

True Endre Barath, Jr.  It's definitely more difficult when representing the buyer, but it CAN be done successfully. Our markets are so different, though. I can't imagine a multiple offer situation in California. Give me Mississippi any day!

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 1 year ago

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