How to Avoid Landmines When Negotiating Multiple Offers During a Home Sale!

Multiple offers in Home NegotiationIn West Michigan, the transition from a sluggish market to a market on fire has been fast and furious over the past 18 months.  At first, many were hesitant to believe that a transition was actually happening.  While serving as the President of the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS in 2011, we had begun to track an interesting trend which indicated that housing prices were stabilizing.

This was in spite of national indicators that predicted that our recovery would be delayed until approximately 2023, there were encouraging indicators that this dire prediction might not prove true.  Of course, there was a lot of caution.  After all, our area had witnessed some of the most grueling aspects of the economic recession as short sales and foreclosures at one time constituted more than 2/3 of all transactions in the market place.

Fast forward to 2013.  Times have changed!  Today, housing inventory in the West Michigan market is less than three months.  It is not unusual to field multiple offers for a home listing.  I recently attended a national real estate conference.  When asked, almost 100 percent of the attendees at one of the seminars indicated that in their markets, multiple offers and housing shortages were also becoming the norm.  Especially, when the homes were priced appropriately and also showed well.  (This is an important caveat)

So, what should you know about a multiple offer situation?  Are there some do’s and don’ts which can help you to secure the best price while protecting your most important investment?  Absolutely!  In fact, the National Association of REALTORS has published an informative article to assist you in determining how best to navigate a multiple offer scenario.  Some questions you might have which are answered are:

1.  Does a homeowner have to accept the first offer tendered?

2.  Is it possible to ask all parties to present their best offer and how is this done?

3.  Who makes the decision about how multiple offers will be presented?

4.  Is it possible to determine how to deal with multiple offers BEFORE the situation arises?

While this guide will serve as a handy reference, its important to understand that local customs, traditions, rules and to some extent law can also impact the way in which transactions are negotiated.  It is important to work with a knowledgeable REALTOR to determine the best course of action.  My experience in negotiating multiple offers is that the Golden Rule is one of the best principles to follow.

We strive to treat our clients and the parties presenting offers with the dignity and honesty which we would like rendered to us.  If you have any questions about Listing your home or would like to talk more about the current state of the housing market in the Grand Rapids, Mi ~ West Michigan marketplace, please contact our office.

Creating Your Dream Home Wishlist…

1950 CVTC 22 Homemaking

1950 CVTC 22 Homemaking (Photo credit: wistechcolleges)

So, you’re ready to buy a new home, or simply another home.  The prospect can be both exciting and scary as there are so many things to consider and one can feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the process and the consequences of making the wrong decision.

While, the process of a home transition is rarely devoid of challenges, there are a number of things which you can do to help finding the right home a more comprehensive and cohesive process.  One which delivers you to your new location in peace…as opposed to pieces.

Here are some tips that I have given as salient advice to my clients over the years.  While, the list is not exhaustive, it will help you to start the process and may bring to attention, some areas that you had not previously considered.

First things First…

It’s important to take the time to figure out what you want.  I am sometimes surprised by how quickly some folks will jump into a car and simply go out looking for homes.  Home searching is not sight seeing.  To be successful in your home search, it is helpful to have a plan for what you want to look for.  Consider it a road map which helps ensure that you arrive at the desired destination.

Your game plan does not need to be exhaustive, but it should be comprehensive.  And…it should include input from everyone who will be living in the household if possible.  Certainly, constraints with regard to location and price and amenities may render some dream options unsustainable, however having input at the planning stage helps to provide a sense of ownership and insight about what will make the most sense for your particular situation.

Some things to consider are:  location, size of home, community, number of bedrooms, number of baths, house style/type of home, amount of land, upkeep or repair work you are willing to tackle, school district desired, commute to work/school etc.


Then pare down your list by creating two columns which are:  Wants & Needs.  There are things that you many want, but may not really need.  For instance, a swimming pool and/or fireplace are wonderful amenities, but are they really absolutely necessary if the home is the right price and in the right location and has the right combination of bedrooms and bathrooms for you?


Armed with your refined list, you can then begin to look online and attend Open Houses with confidence that you are now prepared to spot the right home when you come across it, rather than looking for the proverbial ‘needle in a haystack’.

A great place to search for homes once you’ve done your preliminary homework is:  Not only can you refine your search to include your specific requirements, you will also be able to save your search and review them at your leisure.  Should you wish to preview a home or have some questions, our agents will be happy to assist you.