Working with multiple offers can be tricky for the buyers, the sellers and the realtors. There are rules which help make sure that everyone involved in a multiple offer situation is treated fairly and honestly.
There are 8 basis rules that realtors must obey when they are working with multiple offers
All written offers should be placed in a sealed envelope before being given to the listing agent and presented to the seller.
The following things should be written on the outside of the envelope. Property address, name of the selling agent and the name of the listing agent time and date of when the offer was dropped off and an indication of time and date of the deadline for acceptance
If your realtor delivers your offer in a sealed envelop you can expect that the envelope will not be opened until the selling agent is in the actual and physical presence of the seller.
This is the recommended protocol. The practicality of this practice doesn’t always work and if the seller requests that their Realtor open the envelopes- prior to presentation the realtor must obey their instructions. It is at their discretion to do so.
If the envelope containing your offer is to be opened before the listing realtor meets face to face with the seller the listing agent must advise the buyer’s agent of that intention. And in turn your realtor must inform you that this is happening.
The most important thing is communication. As long as you are informed of what is happening and why, there are usually no misunderstandings.
If you have written an offer on a property you must be informed asap if another offer is received. Now you are in a competing or multiple offer situation. Keep in mind that all the details in any offer written are confidential and the disclosure of these details to you or to any one else is completely unacceptable and against all our rules and regulations and subject to discipline.
Once you are informed about a competing offer you do have the right to change or amend any and all details of your original offer.
You can change the price or the possession date, remove certain conditions.
If you decide to remove any conditions it must be your decision and ultimately you are the one responsible for making the changes.
You are entitled to know how many offers you are in competition with but it is up to your agent to keep in contact with the listing agent to be apprised of any and all changes to that number.
It is important to remember that when your Realtor asks how many offers they have –the listing agent is expected to be accurate and they must communicate the actual number they have, not the number of expected offers based on innuendo or promises of other realtors.
As soon as you find your self in a multiple offer situation
A) you can either keep your original offer as written
B) you can amend your offer as we have already discussed
C) or you can withdraw your offer because you don’t want to be in a bidding war. It is your decision.
In the same way that the listing agent communicates a competing offer situation it is critical for you to know if an offer has been withdrawn and you are no longer in a competing situation. The listing agent must inform your Realtor ASAP so that if you wish to amend your offer prior to presentation you have the time to do so.
If you write an offer on a property and the listing agent also writes their own offer you must be advised of this fact. This rule also applies if a realtor in the same office as the listing agent submits an offer.
If your realtor asks for the names of the other realtors who have written offers the listing agent is obliged to provide your realtor with those names.
However the listing agent must not disclose the names of the competing purcahsers.
The seller will be requested to “sign off” on rejected offers noting the time and date that they have declined the offer. The sellers signature will provide assurance to potential buyers that their offer was both presented to and considered by the seller.
For more information on multiple offers see the video “multiple offers and conditions”