Multiple Offers Are Back!

Betsy Urbance, Legal Hotline Attorney

Multiple offers are back, and that’s good news for the housing market. Consequently, how to handle multiple offers has been a hot topic for the IAR Legal Hotline. Each scenario is different based on the facts and parties involved. However, what remains the same is the basic tenet – how you handle multiple offers is determined by your buyer or seller client.

And we can actually go back to the Code of Ethics for some guidance. Here is some required reading for REALTORS® with questions about how to handle multiple offiers: Code of Ethics: “Part 4, Appendix IX —Presenting and Negotiating Multiple Offers

Here are three pertinent excerpts to review right now.

Perhaps no situation routinely faced by REALTORS® can be more frustrating, fraught with potential for misunderstanding and missed opportunity, and elusive of a formulaic solution than presenting and negotiating multiple purchase or lease offers and/or counter-offers on the same property. Consider the competing dynamics. Listing brokers are charged with helping sellers get the highest price and the most favorable terms for their property. Buyers’ brokers help their clients purchase property at the lowest price and on favorable terms. Balanced against the Code’s mandate of honesty is the imperative to refrain from making disclosures that may not, in the final analysis, be in a client’s interests. (Revised 11/01)

  • Remember that the decisions about how offers will be presented, how offers will be negotiated, whether counter-offers will be made and ultimately which offer, if any, will be accepted, are made by the seller—not by the listing broker. (Revised 5/01)
  • Remember that decisions about how counter-offers will be presented, how counter-offers will be negotiated, and whether a counter-offer will be accepted, are made by the buyer—not by the buyer’s broker. (Adopted 5/01)

Multiple offers were among the topics discussed in the May 23 IAR Legal Webinar, which is available as a free download for IAR members. Click here (member login required).

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