Multiple Offers: What Can You Do?

This last week in real estate land has been a crazy one. Even our colleagues have had crazy weeks. And one of the biggest hot topics is the return of the multiple offer.

What does that mean? Well, it’s pretty straightforward in theory: a property for sale receives more than one offer on it at a single time. For example, we had buyers in love with a townhouse and as they were discussing the direction they wanted to take, we got the message from the list agent: “we’ve received an offer; are your buyers interested?” In the end, three offers were presented to the sellers, including ours, and they decided which one they wanted to work with.

Obviously, only one buyer can have the property, so in this example, two groups were left disappointed. (Unfortunately, we didn't win this multiple offer.)

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So, what can you do to help yourself in a multiple offer situation? 

Build Your Crew

The first is something we’ve talked about before: find a real estate advisor you can trust and communicate openly with. Multiple offers can move fast, so you need to be feel comfortable with the person you’re working with, trusting them to give you the best advice on a small timeline.

Take Your Best Swing

The second is that you usually only get one shot in a multiple offer situation. What I mean is that the sellers don’t usually counter any of the offers. So, you get one chance to put your best foot forward, one chance at bat. (Mixing metaphors, I know.)

But there are three big things that can help your offer stand out:
  • purchase price
  • deposit amount
  • closing dates
Between you and your advisor, you can decide if offering above the asking price is something you’re comfortable doing. If you are, then it becomes a question of how much more. It’s an individual decision, but market research and past sales can help give you the background to make that decision. We always say to our buyers in a multiple offer situation, “what are you willing to lose this property for?” If we call you in the morning to tell you that the accepted offer was $1,000 higher than yours, would you be upset? By asking this question, it helps you decide what is the top dollar you’ll pay for a property.

Next, the higher the deposit amount, the less likely you are to walk away from the deal. It shows the seller that you’re serious about this purchase and it’s an easy way to distinguish your offer from others who may just use the standard $10,000 deposit.

Lastly, closing dates are another easy way to appeal to the seller. If the seller has specific dates in mind, then by giving them their ideal closing date, it certainly can help your odds.

Be Game-Time Ready

The third is to have your ducks in a row prior to putting pen to paper. Best practice is to do that for any deal, but it's even more important in a multiple offer situation. Talk to your mortgage broker and find out how quickly they can turn around an accepted offer with an approval. Days matter! Having a five-day condition period versus a seven-day condition period can make a huge difference. Talk to your advisor about inspectors and have one picked out ahead of time, in case you need to book one quickly.

With so many new buyers jumping into the mix and still a lagging inventory, the real estate market here in Victoria will continue to be prone to multiple offers for awhile. If a property is a quality one and it’s priced just right, chances are you won’t be alone in loving it. Don’t be discouraged if you miss out on a property or two. I truly believe that your home finds you and the offer process happens when it’s right.

Want to talk some more about how multiple offers work or about how we can help you navigate the market? We’re here. Email us anytime at or call 250-661-9524.

Until next time!

Kaley + Mike