Best practices to win in a multiple offer situation

By Rich Cosgrove, President Stark Trumbull Area REALTORS®

Are you one of the many buyers that has submitted an offer on the home of your dreams only to be told that the seller chose another one? You are not alone. Many buyers are becoming frustrated with the lack of inventory available in addition to being in multiple offers situations.

This is truly a sellers’ market and if you want your offer to be accepted here are a few things to think about.

Assume you are going to be one a many offers a seller has to review. Go in with your highest and best offer right up front as you may not have another chance. Listing agents can only disclose to you if it is a multiple offer situation and they are given permission from the seller. In this market you more than likely will be competing against at least one other offer.

The highest offer price may not be the most important term in the offer for the seller. There are other items to consider. Is the buyer purchasing with cash or bank financing? If the buyer is using bank financing what type of loan are they getting? How strong is the borrower, how much money are they putting down? What inspections does the buyer want to perform? How long until the deal closes? How long does the seller have to move out? What appliances is the buyer asking for?

When a buyer offers cash rather than bank financing a seller may find that very appealing and may even accept a lower sales price because they don’t have to deal with an appraisal or a longer close time. If a buyer is using bank financing, the loan type may be VA, Conventional, FHA, USDA, or another type of loan. A seller may consider one type of financing easier to work with than another. If a buyer is putting 20% or more as a down payment a seller may consider this borrower to be stronger than a buyer putting down only 3.5%.

Inspections can make or break a deal. Sellers may find an offer very appealing if a buyer isn’t asking to perform any inspections on the property. For various reasons a seller may want an extended close date/possession time with their home or they may be looking to move as soon as possible.

In this market, sellers are listing their home with the sale contingent on them locating a property of their choice to purchase before closing on their current home. This is due to the fact that inventory is low and even though a seller is willing to sell, they may only do so if they can locate and secure a home of their choice.

It may seem like an appliance is not a valid reason to accept one offer over another, however, if you have shopped for new appliances you may understand how expensive some can be. We often see that kitchen appliances are part of a sale, however, washers and dryers tend to not convey.

These are all things to consider when placing an offer a property. Put your best foot forward and make your offer as strong as you possibly can.

The Stark Trumbull Area REALTORS® welcome you to visit our website at for a complete listing of REALTORS® and Affiliate members who are sure to meet your professional needs.  The Stark County Association of REALTOR® members are honored to service the Stark & Carroll County Communities.

If you have any questions or comments on this article, please contact me by email at

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