A Buyers’ and Sellers’ Guide to Multiple Offer Negotiations

Information for Buyers

  • In some situations sellers will have several competing purchase offers to consider. Sellers have several ways to deal with multiple offers. Sellers can accept the “best” offer; they can inform all potential purchasers that other offers are “on the table”; they can “counter” one offer while putting the other offers to the side awaiting a decision on the counter-offer; or they can “counter” one offer and reject the others.
  • While the listing broker can offer suggestions and advice, decisions about how offers will be presented – and dealt with – are made by the seller – not by the listing broker.
  • There are advantages and disadvantages to the various negotiating strategies you can employ in multiple offer negotiations. A low initial offer may result in buying the property you desire for less than the listed price – or it may result in another buyer’s higher offer being accepted. On the other hand, a full price offer may result in paying more than the seller might have required. In some cases there can be several full price offers competing for the seller’s attention – and acceptance.
  • Your buyer-representative (agent) will explain and advise on the pros and cons of these (and possibly other) negotiating strategies. The final decision, however, is yours to make.
  • Purchase offers generally aren’t confidential. In some cases sellers may make other buyers aware that your offer is in hand, or even disclose details about your offer to another buyer in hope of convincing that buyer to make a “better” offer. In some cases sellers will instruct their listing broker to disclose an offer to other buyers on their behalf.
  • Listing brokers (the sellers representative) are required to follow lawful, ethical instructions from their clients in the same way that buyer-representatives must follow lawful, ethical instructions from their buyer-clients. While some REALTORS® may be reluctant to disclose terms of offers, even at the direction of their seller-clients, the Code of Ethics does not prohibit such disclosure. In some cases state law or real estate regulations may limit the ability of brokers to disclose the existence or terms of offers to third parties.
  • You may want to discuss with your buyer-representative the possibility of making your offer confidential, or of establishing a confidentiality agreement between yourself and the seller prior to commencing negotiations.
  • Realize that as a represented buyer, your broker likely has other buyer-clients, some of whom may be interested in the same properties as you are. Ask your broker how offers and counter-offers will be presented and negotiated if more than one of his buyer-clients are trying to buy the same property.
  • Appreciate that your buyer-representative’s advice is based on past experience and is no guarantee as to how any particular seller will act (or react) in a specific situation.

Information for Sellers

  • It’s possible you may be faced with multiple competing offers to purchase your property. Your listing broker can explain various negotiating strategies for you to consider. For example, you can accept the “best” offer; you can inform all potential purchasers that other offers are “on the table” and invite them to make their “best” offer; you can “counter” one offer while putting the other offers to the side awaiting a decision on your counter-offer; or you can “counter” one offer and reject the others.
  • If you have questions about the possibility of multiple offers and the way they can be dealt with, ask your listing broker to explain your options and alternatives.
  • Realize that each of these approaches has advantages and disadvantages. Patience may result in an even better offer being received; inviting buyers to make their “best” offers may produce an offer (or offers) better than those “on the table” – or may discourage buyers who feel they’ve already made a fair offer resulting in them breaking off negotiations to pursue other properties. Your listing broker will explain the pros and cons of these strategies (and possibly other) negotiating strategies. The decisions, however, are yours to make.
  • Appreciate that your listing broker’s advice is based on past experience and is no guarantee about how any particular buyer will act (or react) in a specific situation.

Information for Buyers and Sellers

Perhaps no situation facing buyers or sellers is more potentially frustrating or fraught with potential for misunderstanding and for missed opportunity than presenting and negotiating multiple, competing offers to purchase the same property. Consider the following issues and dynamics:

  • Sellers want to get the highest price and best terms for their property.
  • Buyers want to buy at the lowest price and on the most favorable terms.
  • Listing brokers – acting on behalf of sellers – represent sellers’ interests.
  • Buyer representatives represent the interests of their buyer-clients.
  • Will a seller disclosing information about one buyer’s offer make a second buyer more likely to make a full price offer? Or will that second buyer pursue a different property?
  • Will telling several buyers that each is being given a chance to make their “best offer” result in spirited competition for the seller’s property? Or will it result in the buyers looking elsewhere?
  • What’s fair? What’s honest? Why isn’t there a single, simple way to deal with multiple competing offers?

Knowledgeable buyers and sellers realize there are rarely simple answers to complex situations. But some fundamental principles can make negotiating multiple offers a little simpler.

  • Realize the listing broker represents the seller – and the seller’s interests, and the buyer-representative represents the buyer – and the buyer’s interests. Real estate professionals are subject to state real estate regulation and, if they are REALTORS®, to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
  • The Code of Ethics obligates REALTORS® to be honest with all parties; to present offers and counter-offers quickly and objectively; and to cooperate with other brokers. Cooperation involves sharing of relevant information.
  • Frequently frustration and misunderstanding results from cooperating brokers being unaware of the status of offers they have presented on behalf of their buyer-clients. Listing brokers should make reasonable efforts to keep buyer-representatives up-to-date on the status of offers. Similarly, buyer-representatives should keep listing brokers informed about the status of counter-offers their seller-clients have made.

Finally, buyers and sellers need to appreciate that in multiple offer situations only one offer will result in a sale, and the other buyers will often be disappointed their offers were not accepted. While little can be done to assuage that disappointment, fair and honest treatment throughout the offer and negotiation process, coupled with prompt, ongoing and open communication, can enhance the chances that all buyers – successful or not – will feel they were treated fairly and honestly.

1876 Flour Mill Converted to a Modern Dwelling Is This Week’s Most Popular Home

A flour mill magically transformed into a modern, rustic-chic sanctuary is the week’s most popular home on realtor.com®.

Built in 1876 and perched on the banks of the Raritan River, the Neshanic Mill is a local landmark in Hillsborough Township, NJ. It even graces the “Welcome to Hillsborough” sign at the edge of town.

If the popularity of the listing is any indication, there are plenty of buyers interested in scrounging up enough grist to make an offer.

The old mill bested pretty stiff competition this week. “Real Housewives of New York” fan favorite Ramona Singer dropped the price on her NYC pad and seems to have found a buyer. Another “Real Housewife”—this one from Potomac, NJ—is attached to a popular home reportedly being sold by her estranged husband.

Besides these notable names, this week’s list includes several gawkworthy properties including a luxe waterfront San Diego beach house and a time capsule midcentury bed-and-breakfast in Texas—with all the furnishings included.

But despite fame, flash, and notoriety, it’s the little flour mill from the 1870s that ground the competition into dust. Have a look at all this week’s most popular properties by scrolling on down…

See the homes here!

The Secret 5.9M Homeowners May Be Missing Out On

A recent sharp drop in mortgage rates hasn’t unlocked savings just for those looking to purchase a home—homeowners may also benefit. About 5.9 million borrowers could see their rates drop by at least 75 basis points by refinancing their mortgages, according to Black Knight, a mortgage software and analytics firm. That is up by 2 million in the past month alone.

That’s the largest population of eligible borrower candidates in nearly three years for savings. The savings could add up to about $271 per month per borrower.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped below 4% recently, averaging 3.94% in the latest week.

If rates drop another quarter point, Black Knight estimates that 7 million borrowers could then potentially benefit from refinancing their home mortgage.

The drop in mortgage rates is also boosting affordability for home shoppers. The monthly payment on an average-priced home (assuming a 20% down payment) has fallen 6% over the past six months

“When we factor income into the equation, we see that it takes 22% of the median income to purchase the average-priced home,” notes Ben Graboske, president of Black Knight’s data and analytics division. “That’s the lowest payment-to-income ratio in more than a year as well, and far below the long-term average of 25.1%.”

Also, as of May, the monthly payment required to purchase the average-priced house with 20% down is $1,173, the lowest such payment in more than a year.

Economists say rates are dropping due to trade war disputes with China and Mexico. That is prompting lower yields as investors to flock to the bond market, which is typically viewed as a safety net. Mortgage rates loosely follow yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note.

Original Article

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

Mortgage rates were mostly unchanged from last week due to easing of trade tensions with Mexico which helped stabilize markets. These historically low rates should provide continued opportunities for current homeowners to refinance their mortgages – which combined with new homebuyer activity – will help sustain the momentum in the housing market in 2019.

Monthly Market Overview North San Diego County May 2019

At this point in the year, we are getting a good sense for how the housing market is likely to perform for the foreseeable future. And although it is not a particularly exciting forecast, it is a desirable one. Markets across the country are regulating toward a middle ground between buyers and sellers. While it remains true that sales prices are running higher and that inventory options are relatively low, buyers are beginning to find wiggle room at some price points and geographies.

  • Closed Sales decreased 3.8 percent for Detached homes and 2.9 percent for Attached homes.
  • Pending Sales increased 0.7 percent for Detached homes but decreased 0.2 percent for Attached homes.
  • The Median Sales Price was up 2.1 percent to $730,000 for Detached homes but decreased 4.2 percent to $455,000 for Attached homes.
  • Days on Market increased 10.7 percent for Detached homes and 61.1 percent for Attached homes.
  • Months Supply increased 3.4 percent for Detached homes and 21.1 percent for Attached homes.

An extended trend of low unemployment, higher wages and favorable mortgage rates has been a terrific driver of housing stability in recent years. What is different about this year so far is that prices are not rising as quickly. Some of the hottest Western markets are even cooling slightly, while some Northeast markets are achieving a state of recovery after a decade of battling back from recession. As a whole, the selling season is looking fairly stable across the nation.

May-19-Monthly