What do do with multiple offers on the table

In eastern Connecticut, depending on the price range, condition and location of a home, it's entirely possible that a seller could find themselves in a multiple offer situation. This has been happening for a few months now. While it's exciting for sellers to receive multiple offers on their property, many states do not have laws or regulations governing how real estate licensees are obligated to deal with such situations, sometimes resulting in a dilemma over what to do next.

The National Association of Realtors recommends that the safest way for listing brokers and sellers to ensure a seller's best interest is protected is for the listing broker to review how multiple offers will be handled with sellers before any offers are received.

Sellers should decide how multiple offers on their property are to be handled. This is a good policy since it's the sellers who may not get as high a price if some buyers aren't told about other buyers' offers, and it's also the sellers who risk losing all offers if potential buyers back out after being told of other offers.

Keep in mind the following circumstances, however. Sellers that have already accepted an offer when they receive a subsequent offer on their property may want to consider the second offer. Alternatively, a seller may accept an offer, receive a second offer they want to consider, but feel in a dilemma because the first acceptance has not yet been delivered to the potential purchaser.

In either of these scenarios, listing brokers should advise that sellers proceed only after receiving legal advice. Legal counsel can help sellers make sure that the acceptance of a second offer is clearly contingent on the first offer's becoming void.

Multiple offers are a great problem to have. Just be sure you plan for them by setting a policy and having clear direction between sellers and listing agents on how to handle them when they arise.

For a detailed explanation of multiple offers go to the Buy or Sell page on easternctrealtors.com. Additionally, you can find real estate attorneys and other affiliated services of the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors at easternctrealtors.com/resources/affiliated-services/.


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