Three words buyers hate and why they should not worry you

Three Words Buyers Hate and Why It Should not Worry youMultiple Offer Situation. 

These three words are the source of more confusion, anxiety and headaches than any other phrase in the real estate business right now.  They are also some of the most commonly heard for buyers in Nashville today.  So let’s take a look at them from both sides of the transaction so we can gain a better understanding of how this can work to our benefit. 

On the surface, this might seem like a great thing for sellers.  It can also be a source of confusion because so many of the offers are similar.  So determining the best offer for you is not always easy. 

There is a myth that the sellers have to take the offer with the highest price.  This is absolutely not true.  Sellers can choose any offer that they want to accept.  For the best results, I try to focus on three things with my sellers:  price, terms and ability to close.  It’s my job to sort through the offers, provide the pros and cons for each and give advice on the best offer for their specific situation.

For buyers, this does not have to be a mountain of a problem.  Preparation and Speed to action are the best defense to avoid multiple offers.  In the most popular areas, it can be tough to avoid.  Especially when the seller sets the right conditions for multiple offers (it’s all too common in Nashville).

If you find yourself submitting your highest and best offer, here is my advice. 

Understand your initial emotional response so you can make the best decision.  In this case, emotions are like a subconscious warning system.  They point to where we need to focus our attention.  They can also misfire and cause a false alarm.  So we need to validate our response to make sure it is appropriate.  Your agent should walk you through the process of analyzing your initial response. 

To set the price, first have your agent pull comparable sales/listings, make adjustments and give you their opinion of the current market value for the home. 

If you like the house, but are not in love with it, set your highest price and don’t look back.

If you are in love with the home, set somewhat of a stretch price.  A price that you are completely comfortable with walking away, if someone is willing to pay more. 

Many times the seller’s decision comes down to the terms.  Make your contract as clean as possible with the least amount of contingencies that still protect your downside.  Having a bunch of unusual terms in the contract can make you look like a difficult buyer.  Many times I’ve seen sellers disregard an offer because one of the terms “did not feel right.”  Some agents write terms into the contract because that’s what they have always done.  Don’t hesitate to question your agent why something is written into the contract.


Do everything that you can to show strength in your financial position.  Use a lender that has a reputation for closing the sale.  A bad lender or one that is unresponsive can kill a deal in a heartbeat. 

If you have a compelling story and truly love the home, write a letter to the homeowner that you can submit with your offer.  Most homeowners want someone that will love and take care of the home as much as they did.  This tactic has tipped the scales in the buyer’s favor many times.

This is how we analyze and attack multiple offers with our clients. 

What concerns you most about multiple offers?

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