Traverse City Record-Eagle

Real Estate News

May 4, 2012

Strategies for Buyers Bidding on a Home With Multiple Offers

Syndicated — In case you missed the news, markets are starting to pick up, which means more home buyers are likely to get off the sidelines. But, given the lack of good inventory in many real estate markets, there are more buyers than properties.

The result? Multiple offers are making a comeback.

The days of bidding wars, with several offers over the asking price, are probably gone in most markets. But buyers in certain markets are likely to see competing offers under the listing price.

Here are three strategies for buyers to follow when the home they want has received other offers:

1. Don't over-analyze the other offers or the listing agent

After multiple property viewings and interacting with the seller's agent, the agent tells you there's another offer on the property. Your reaction: "Really? Are you kidding me?"

Take the listing agent's word for it, but only use that as one data point. Don't spend too much energy trying to figure out what's really going on with the other offers. If you love the property, keep moving forward, but at your own pace. Make the offer you're comfortable with, and only when you're comfortable making it. Don't feel pressured to make an offer in order to compete, especially if you're not ready to put in a bid.

2. Focus on your negotiations with the seller

Sometimes, the listing agent will say that the other offer is a better price, has a larger down payment or a quicker close. Who cares? The seller will still be looking at and working with your offer when considering their circumstances. For all you know, the other offer may be a horrible "low ball" offer or from a buyer who isn't pre-approved for a loan or from an out-of-area agent who is unfamiliar with local customs and protocols. Or the buyer may have made the offer after only seeing the property once.

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