Buyer Tips - Handling Multi-Offers

With the current lack of property on the market and high demand in most price bands, we are encountering more and more frustrated buyers who have missed out on properties, often in multiple offer situations. Here are some useful tips to help you through what is often a difficult and confusing process for buyers.

When you are interested in a property you need to let the salesperson you are dealing with know that you would like to be contacted if the vendor instructs that they would like to “call interest” in the property. This is the process of calling interested parties when another offer is being taken and the vendor wants to notify them. You may be the first to offer, in which case the vendor will most likely ask the agent to call all other interested parties before they consider your offer.

If you are seriously interested in a property, do everything you can to be ready to make a strong offer. This often means visiting the bank, looking into easily accessible information on the property (see our future handy tips on researching a property) and understanding what conditions, if any, you would like to include in your offer. The goal when competing is, to make your offer as appealing as possible to the vendor as the conditions in the offer can be as important as the price offered.

When it is time to offer, the salesperson should get you to sign a Multiple Offer Acknowledgement Form. This explains the process to you and how your offer should be handled. Key points are that your offer will be kept completely confidential from any other buyer, it will be presented to the vendor together with all other offers and that the vendor may make their decision to accept any offer without giving others the right to negotiate. In other words, put your best foot forward on both price, and conditions!
This is the time to ask questions. If you are unsure about any part of the process specific to your situation or if you are feeling uncomfortable about something, ask the salesperson. By this point, you should have been given an Approved Guide to Sale and Purchase Agreements and had time to read it along with taking legal and professional advice relating to the purchase.

The next step is, the salesperson should guide you through the agreement, filling it out as you go. At this point, it is very important that you have been clear about any conditions you would like added to the agreement and made sure the salesperson completely understands them. They will most likely have pre-prepared clauses to insert into the agreement. Make sure they have explained these to you and you understand what you are signing. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you feel something isn’t right or you don’t understand something. (see our future handy tips on contract conditions)

If you are flexible as to when you take over the property, ask the salesperson if there is a date that
works well for the vendor. This can sometimes be a clincher for a vendor who is working to a specific
timeframe. Also ensure the salesperson is aware of items/conditions you are flexible on so they can
pass this information on to the owners when discussing your offer.

Before you leave the meeting with the salesperson, clarify what the next steps are and when to expect
to hear back from them.

From this point, much of the process lays in the vendor’s hands. All offers will be presented to the
vendor and they will typically make one of three decisions:

  • Accept one of the offers as it stands
  • Choose to negotiate with one or more parties
  • Reject all offers outright

The key thing you should expect from the salesperson at this point is communication. Although it can
be frustrating waiting for the vendor to make a decision, it is much easier if you know what is going
on, so don’t hesitate to call and ask the salesperson where things have got to.

There are a huge number of variations to multiple offer situations and we see how stressful they can be for buyers wanting to secure a property, even when handled with the utmost care. Hopefully with a little more knowledge, you will feel more confident if you are placed in a situation where more than one party wants to offer on a property.

If you have any questions around multiple-offer situations that we have not answered here or you would like to discuss anything real estate related at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 477 4470 or at [email protected]
We are always happy to help.

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