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Tuesday Tip - How to Choose Amongst Multiple Offers

In many of Boston's most popular neighborhoods, sellers can expect to receive multiple offers for their home, especially if it's priced right, includes certain amenities (like a parking spot!) and is staged to sell.  But when the offers come in, the highest bid is not always the smartest choice.  It's important to take a close look at the buyers who are making the offers, and then to evaluate based on both the tangibles and the intangibles.

First, there are the hard factors: are they pre-approved for the amount offered, are they offering cash, are they willing to forego the finance contingency and / or inspection?  If the answers to all of these questions are yes, then on paper, you've got a all-star buyer who should certainly be a top contender for the property.  But you should also consider some other, "softer" factors.  For example, are they working with an agent, and is it someone that your agent knows, respects and has had positive interactions with in the past?  This is important because you want to be sure that your buyers and their agent are ethically sound and committed to the purchase.  Agents live and die by their reputation, so a good one will not work with a buyer if they question their integrity or their word.  It is also nice when an offer comes from a buyer who has been on the market for some time, and has seen your home multiple times (though this is less common in today's market where listed properties are receiving offers within a day or two of going on the market).  The point is, buyers who've put a lot of thought into their offer are less likely to pull out if something else comes along.  Bonus points for buyers who write a personal letter - these are the folks who are looking for a long-term home to settle into and take care of.

If you are in a position where you receive multiple offers, there's some strategizing and work that needs to be done on your end - this is where you benefit from having a smart, experienced sales agent.  For example, in a multiple offer scenario, your agent should be communicating with each buyers agent to let them know they have multiple offers, and to leverage certain terms - like a quick closing or removal of contingencies - to improve on each offer.  Ideally, you'll get your buyer with the highest offer to agree to the best terms from each of the other offers.  Also, a good agent will do everything they can to ensure the deal doesn't fall through, but that if it does you have a back-up offer to quickly move on to.  If your agent is unable to get this commitment in writing, then they should maintain regular communication with the back up buyer or their agent until closing, or until the first buyer has removed all of their contingencies.

Every seller wants to receive multiple offers on their home so they can count on a timely and lucrative closing.  But to really minimize risk and ensure that the process is hassle-free, make sure that you're accepting the best offer from the best buyer.  A good agent has seen a broad range of buyers and offer terms, and will help you identify the best buyer for your home.  For more information about evaluating multiple offers, or for general selling tips, feel free to connect with our experts at 617-236-0353 or through our website at

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