With inventory across the county, low multiple offers are becoming more and more common. I sat in on a session today where the presenter, Frank Mears, stated that listing agents do not have to disclose whether there are multiple offers if the seller tells them not to. He cautioned that some buyers are scared away when they know there are other offers, and are asked to submit highest and best. Nevertheless, he recommended buyers’ agent call first to see if they have offers.
Best practices include using the negotiation strategy you planned with the client, which may not be just highest price. Keep negotiations short and not prolonged, and identify points both parties agree and disagree with.
Equal price reductions during negotiations can cause a deadlock. You may then be asked for the dreaded commission reduction. At the end of the day, reducing counters yields closure.
He also noted the escalation clause is also becoming more popular. I can personally attest that it has worked many times for me over the last couple years. Keep in mind the home still has to appraise. I’ve been in situations where the appraisal comes in $30, 000 less than contract price, and there is no way the sellers or buyers were coming out of pocket. So make sure to set reasonable expectations.
Gather information about the seller; the best negotiators have the most information. Encourage the buyer to make a strong offer and give sellers what they want. Encourage buyer to not “major in the minors,” and strike while the iron is hot. Finally, don’t be difficult to deal with!