Tips For Buyers On Handling Multiple Offers On The House You Want


By: Christel Silver Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers

You offer your house for sale and within days you receive not only one offer but two or three offers.  Or, your house has been on the market for a very long time with no offers but then you get two offers the same day.

This is exciting for the seller – but a very disappointing experience for the buyer. The buyer may have thought that the house was overpriced and assumed the seller was desperate to get an offer. Now the buyer finds himself competing with other offers for the house they may have fallen in love with.

But only one will be the lucky buyer – and why not try to be the one.  It is always a good idea to write an offer – even if there is competition.

Here are some tips for buyers to present a solid offer to compete with other offers:

Offer a large escrow deposit – the seller can tell you are serious, and it is part of the money you have to come up with at closing anyway.

Get Pre-Approved – Not Pre-Qualified. What is the difference? A pre-qualification letter is issued to a buyer without verifying the information provided by that buyer. Most pre-approvals are generally subject to a bank appraisal being done on the subject property. Being Pre-approved is extremely important, especially when competing with multiple offers.

If your time allows, give the seller time to move or find another house. Maybe they would prefer if their children could finish the school year.

Any contingencies like inspection, lead based paint, appraisal…. Make the time as short as possible.

Offer the best price you are willing to pay for the house. You cannot afford to start low!

You want to have sold your home first – which eliminates the home sale contingency, which makes your offer stronger.

Find out what is important to the seller, maybe they need a quick closing.

If you have enough cash for the closing, do not ask the seller for closing help.

Most of the time the sale is an emotional time for the seller. Maybe they raised all their children in the house. Write a brief letter explaining why you love the home and why you deserve to be chosen to be the new owner of their home. The personal letter has helped many times during my real estate career, especially since we are presenting offers electronically lately.  A personal story always helps.

Now that the buyer has made their best offer, the sellers have several ways to deal with multiple offers.

Sellers can accept the “best” offer, which does not necessarily mean the highest price. The terms of an offer are as important as the price.

Sellers can inform all potential purchasers that other offers are “on the table” and give all of them a deadline for their best offer.

Sellers can “counter” one offer while putting the other offers to the side awaiting a decision on the counter-offer or sellers can “counter” or accept one offer and reject the others.

The seller has the freedom to counter each offer differently. If the sellers have a listing agent, it is still the decision of the seller how they want to handle multiple offers, but some ask their agent for suggestions.

No situation facing buyers or sellers is more frustrating than presenting and negotiating multiple, competing offers to purchase the same property.

But now is not the time to make a low offer – and “feel” out the seller. You must give your best offer. Losing the house you fell in love with and made plans on how to decorate it, can be heartbreaking. My best advice is: Make your best strongest offer!

About Christel Silver

Christel Silver is a full time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. In 1985 she was licensed in Maryland and Washington DC as a Realtor and later as a Certified Residential Appraiser and Associate Broker and has been in Florida since 2001. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) and again for 2018 as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. The Germany Real Estate Organization (IVD) has an agreement with the NAR and she is an International member of this organization. Christel is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), and a certified speaker teaching CIPS classes. Ms. Silver served the Florida Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Chapter as President, as Regional Vice President helping Chapters to grow, and as a member of the Board of Directors for two years. She served previously as an ambassador. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit