Often, a seller’s listing agent will implement a “multiple counter offer” strategy when they have a handful of offers to choose from.
In a multiple counter offer scenario, an agent will send a counter response to more than one potential buyer, giving each an additional opportunity to respond in an attempt to better determine the strongest offer on the table.
Here are some helpful tips that can help you compete against other offers, which can increase your odds at obtaining an acceptance.
COUNTER THE MULTIPLE COUNTER
The trap buyers with less savvy real estate agents fall into is thinking that once they receive the multiple counter, they should simply sign it and send it right back. But if other buyers do the exact same thing, you aren’t doing anything further to distinguish yourself and separate yourself from the pack.
Find additional ways of sweetening your offer to further entice the seller, then respond to the multiple counter with a counter of your own identifying these new terms. This won’t annoy a seller – it will excite them because they will see a more favorable opportunity.
INCREASE YOUR OFFER PRICE
Often, multiple counters will include a term stating, “Buyers to submit their best and final offer.”
This is a subtle way of saying to buyers they can either stick with their current offer price, or they have a new opportunity to increase their price further.
At this stage, I always recommend increasing our offer price, even slightly. Especially if our original offer was at the exact list price, we should assume other buyers have offered at list as well. Even an extra $1,000 or $2,000 could be enough to break the tie and separate your offer from the rest. Plus, the gesture of increasing your price sends a positive signal to the seller about just how motivated you are about purchasing the home. Sometimes, the gesture alone can be a difference-maker, versus another buyer who may respond with their original terms, appearing indifferent and less excited than you are.
MAKE YOUR TERMS MORE FAVORABLE
There are various terms within the purchase contract that you can sweeten to further incentivize a seller to work with you, without having to compromise your rights or your contractual safeguards.
Here are a few ideas:
• Reduce the buyer’s investigation period from the contractual standard 17 days to 10 days, which will show the seller that you are willing to operate in an expedited and efficient manner once in escrow.
• Offer to pay for a portion of the seller’s closing costs. Sellers always enjoy cost savings opportunities.
• Remove any terms you may have included that ask for seller to participate with a wood destroying pest inspection or treatment/repair. The current industry trend is for wood destroying pest issues to be a part of a buyer’s investigation, so it is outdated to ask for seller participation.
You can still conduct a “termite” inspection yourself and make any requests for repair once in escrow if you discover something alarming – you’re just not automatically putting the responsibility on the seller upfront contractually, which they will appreciate.
• Omit the need for the seller to pay for the buyer’s 1-year home warranty. It’s a typical industry trend to ask the seller to pay for this home warranty, but removing this saves the seller a few hundred dollars. You can still purchase your own home warranty, but the gesture of cost savings for the seller further strengthens your offer.
There are many other fantastic strategies EMBARQ agents implement that further increases our odds and gives us a fantastic rate of acceptance on our offers that we are happy to share with you. But I hope this gives some quick insight into this process for those out there who may be frustrated by the market competition.
by Jeremy Howard
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