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Lindsay Barlow
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Whether you are a home buyer or a home seller, the multiple offer process can be a very stressful situation.  With so much room for error and with so much emotion involved, it's very important to have a qualified Realtor by your side to walk you through the process.

The information below will give you a general idea of what to expect if you find yourself in a multiple offer situation.

If You're The Buyer

  • Your Realtor will tell you whether or not you are in a multiple offfer situation as soon as they know.
  • They must also tell you how many other offers you are competing against.
  • The content of your offer and any other offer involved must be kept confidential from all competing buyers.  Only the seller and the seller's agent can see your offer.
  • Your Realtor will walk you through the offer contract and advise you of how to best compete in a multiple offer situation (see Lindsay's tips for winning in multiple offers).
  • As a general rule, the fewer terms and conditions you include, the more attractive your offer will be to the seller.
  • Your Realtor will then take your offer to present to the seller.
  • A presentation time will be set by the seller and each offer will be presented in the order it was received by the seller.
  • The seller has 4 options when reviewing offers.  They can accept one, reject all, counter one or send all the offers back to give each buyer one more opportunity to bring their best offer.
  • Your Realtor may suggest you come to the house where the presentation is taking place and just wait in your car.  Doing this allows you to make quick decisions should the seller send back all the offers or counter just yours.
  • If you attend, it's important to keep your cool and not get caught up in the moment.  It's very easy to be tempted to offer more money then the house is actually worth, which can cause problems with your financing approval.
  • Once the sellers decide which offer they are working with, every Realtor will be notified and if you're the winning offer then final signatures will be required.

If You're The Seller

  • Your Realtor will tell you as soon as they know they are receiving multiple offers on your home.
  • They must also notify the buyer's agents that they are in a multiple offer situation and how many offers they are competing against.
  • You and your Realtor will decide on a presentation time and your Realtor will notify the buyer's agents of this time.
  • Your Realtor should arrive to your home prior to the presentation time to fully explain how the process works and answer any questions you may have.
  • You will decide with your Realtor whether you want the buyer's agents to personally present their offers to you or whether you would rather they send them to your agent via e-mail or fax.
  • As a general rule, the process runs much more smoothly if the buyer's agents are present.
  • They will be asked by your Realtor to come into your home one by one and present their offers to you.  After they have presented they will be asked to wait outside until you have made your decision.
  • After you have seen all of the offers you can then decide whether you wish to accept any of the offers, reject all of the offers, counter one of the offers or send back all of the offers for improvement.
  • Your Realtor will notify each buyer's agent of your decision and your signatures will be required in the appropriate places.

Important Facts

  • Every offer in a multiple offer situation must be kept confidential.  One buyer cannot be told the terms and condidions of another buyers offer before, during or after the negotiations.  This is Ontario law and the consequences are severe for any Realtor who breaks this law.
  • A Realtor cannot under any circumstances say there are multiple offers when there are not.  This is Ontario law and a Realtor can be fined or lose their professional licence if they break this law.
  • To be certain there are other offers, your Realtor can request to see the Confirmation of Co-Operation and Representation from the other offers.  The sellers agent will have to black out the names of the other purchasers and any other details that may be pertinent to the transaction.
  • A Realtor is legally obligated to present every offer they receive to their client.  They cannot unilaterally decide that your offer is not worth reviewing.  That decision is solely up to the seller.
  • To be certain your offer has been presented, your Realtor can request an Offer Presentation Acknowledgement form that is signed by the seller.

Currently we are in a market where many homes listed for sale in Ajax, Oshawa, Courtice and surrounding areas, will sell in multiple offer situations.  It's important to be prepared and have a knowledgable, experienced and professional real estate agent by your side to guide you through this process.

If you're considering buying a home, please contact me for information on how I ensure my clients come out on top in multiple offers (without blowing the budget).

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