Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC)

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Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

A great offer is always more than just the money. If you can find out what the seller wants, and make your offer a little bit sweeter.
Shorter escrow, longer escrow, all cash if you can do it, shorten inspection period, make earnest money non-refundable. No contingencies.

Feb 12, 2020 03:06 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

That's a hard one, Paul... mostly because heach multiple offer situation can be very different... and sometimes it's not just about price but sweetening other terms important to the seller... which can be hard to find out.

One thing I believe is that when you develop really good relationships with brokers in town they will often go to bat for you in such a situation. I know I've won my share of bidding wars because the listing agent told his/her sellers I was a great agent to work with, no drama, and always brought good clients. I have no doubt you have that reputation as well, but I know that many agents don't necessarily build their relationships with cooperating brokers.

Feb 12, 2020 04:53 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Clean and Waiving, Paul!

Clean: Don't ask for personal items, warranties or seller-paid Closing costs. 

Waive: No home-to-sell contingencies, no appraisal contingencies, no inspection contingencies (as-is). That doesn't mean the buyers can't inspect and walk if they don't like what they find out OR work with the seller on any big items. 

Feb 11, 2020 09:58 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

We try to make our terms as attractive as possible. BUT tried and true, works every time? Nay

Feb 12, 2020 05:51 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

No 'true" method but "trying" and "persistence" is very important for buyers attempting to "win" in any market.  Reality matters.  Accuracy and knowledge of all necessary paperwork, proper preparation as well as simple/straightforward terms help.  Good luck to you and your buyers.  Three losses for a buyer can be difficult but I have heard/experienced stories that have gone beyond that number and eventually were successful.  

Feb 12, 2020 04:17 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Nothing that's tried and true.  I do talk with the agent and try to put my client's best foot forward for them.  Sometimes knowing the agent or at least being in some of the same networking groups does help.

Feb 11, 2020 09:02 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Try to put more money in the sellers pocket without adding to the sales price.  Have the buyer pay for the title policy, and survey. If you can pull this one off have the buyer pay a portion of your commission.

Feb 12, 2020 05:01 AM
Dan & Laurie Pittsenbarger Team
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Lakeside & Coastal Single Family Homes

In my opinion, the two most significant things that impact a seller's decision are what are they going to net and confidence or certainty the horse they pick is going to get them across the finish line.

Once you've hit your ceiling on price - the max of what your and/or your cap of, "any more than that and you're overpaying".  The next thing to do is increase giving the seller certainty. Most of these things are more uncomfortable for a buyer to actually do as it time for the buyer to put his desire for the property to the test and take some risk to give the seller confidence. Here's some things.

1. Depending on price and earnest money amount - the buyer to release the earnest money upon satisfaction of the inspection. And if the earnest money is less than $5G's - up it to at least $5G's and release that. This of course would be non-refundable.

2. If the buyer is really certain, release "$X,XXX"  amount of money to the seller upon mutual acceptance - pay them to accept your offer. Non-refundable.

3. Shorten inspection time frames.

4. Waive the inspection altogether.

5. If your buyer has a time share or any such thing - give the seller a free week if they choose your offer.

6. If your buyer is getting financed - get them a fully underwritten pre-approval letter rather than just pre-approved. Pre-Qual doesn't cut it. And ask the lender to call the listing agent and tell them your buyer's are golden (if they are).

7. Our MLS has a form to use where a buyer can state that they will cover X amount of a short appraisal. I have used this form several times to win a bidding war when the offers are getting well over asking price. If they are all financed deals and the home is not likely to appraise at these higher numbers then the buyer that is willing to cover the highest amount above appraised value will win even if their highest and best offered price is lower than someone using the strategy of go as high as you want to beat out other buyers because you can only pay what the appraisal comes in at.

8. Try to find out from the listing agent what other things are important to the seller - timing, free rent back for X amount of time, not having to move something anything you can include in your offer that aligns with the seller's wants and needs.

Hope you found some more tools you can use that you didn't already know about. If you don't have a "buyer willing to pay X amont over appraised value form - you can draft one. PM me.



Feb 12, 2020 07:22 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Multiple offer situations are very rare here Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS , in fact the only one I remember that I was involved with I did NOT win. I'm always in awe when I hear about this as during our oil boom we were the hottest market in the USA for a couple of years and still... no multiple offers.

Feb 12, 2020 06:38 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

Frustrating!  And pretty common place in my world lately.   There is no tried and true method.  Especially when, in the buyer's agent seat, we're leaning on others to make the "right" decision.  Make sure the escalation clause beats the best offer by an amount to really make a difference (too often around here it's $1000 and that's not really enough to truly give the seller pause if they "like" another offer more); make sure the listing agent truly understands the escalation clause; consider waiving some of the inspections depending on property & buyer; ask buyer to include a letter to pull at the emotional side of things; have lender contact listing agent directly re: "financial health" of the buyer.  The right one WILL stick!  Keep the faith!! 

Feb 12, 2020 04:42 AM
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

So sorry for your situation Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS , I really feel for you. Normally I read the answers before posting mine but in your case, none read so I can answer totally on my own.

So what's my answer? Write a letter, no, discuss it first with the buyer and compose the letter together to the seller. One page only and have your potential buyer thug at the heartstrings to the seller, how they would LOVE to be the future resident in this lovely home.

Best of luck!

Feb 12, 2020 03:08 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

I do not and I feel your pain...hope things improve for you soon.

I don't know that any one method would work in all multiple offer situations, they seem to be a case by case type of thing.

Feb 11, 2020 09:20 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

How the process starts suggests how it will end.

Escalation clauses is 'gaming' the process. Is that who others want to do business with?

Reveal shared value. Protect their legacy. Make it EASY and IRRESISTIBLE.

Feb 12, 2020 05:21 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Escalation clauses usually win.  I use one from Michigan:

Buyer will increase offer by $xxxxx more than any bona fide or good faith competing offer made for XXXX address in an amount not to exceed $xxxxxx. Buyer must be provided with a copy of the competing offer together with a bank pre-qualification or pre-approval letter demonstrating, to buyer’s sole satisfaction, that the second buyer is qualified to purchase XXXXX address at the price set forth in the competing offer.  Prior to increasing the purchase price pursuant to this paragraph, the total of all seller concessions and any separate consideration for personal property provided for in the competing offer shall be deducted from the purchase price contained in said offer.


Verbiage from the Michigan Association of Realtors.


Feb 11, 2020 09:32 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Get there first and leave a key in the lockbox that LOOKS like the right key?  <evil grin>

Feb 11, 2020 08:34 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I agree with Candice A. Donofrio - it's not always the one with the highest price that wins. Good luck with this frustrating situation!

Feb 12, 2020 05:36 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Escualtion clauses are more irritating than help full to a lot of listing agents. Making their best offer and eliminating the inspection help in my area. Buyers inspect the homes before making an offer looking for red flags. cash offers are the best but having a pre approval with the offer is a must

Feb 12, 2020 05:17 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

I think an escalation clause muddies the water, so I do not use them.  I like to submit simple and clean offers.

It would be too much trouble for a listing agent to sort out, so around here, they stay clear of it.


Feb 12, 2020 04:27 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The wording may play a part:  Consider this in a gold envelope, separate from paper work with (?) inside...

We can perform, are ready for a record close, require normal and acceptable repairs and if you call me or perhaps we lunch I will brief you on the details one of of which will surprise you personally thank you

Feb 12, 2020 06:17 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Nothing "tried and true".. in fact if you have multiples, and more than one of the offers includes an escalation clause... you can find yourself in a super-weird situation... like the ones you're describing... ending up $35K over list, and still losing.

You could include "inspection waived", "No mortgage contingency"... but there ain't nuthin' guaranteed.

Feb 12, 2020 05:40 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

wow, only thing I've tried is 'xxx' over highest bidder. I've never had to go as high as 35K over!

Feb 12, 2020 05:24 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

Here we are seeing in the private remarks, no escalation clauses!

The fewer extras in the offer have always worked best for me.

Feb 12, 2020 04:39 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

It only happens with waterfront listings in my area. Had three buyers, one submitted a hand written letter penned by their 14 year old daughter about we lost Nana this past winter, Grampy is pretty torn up and won't be with us long but oh how he would love to spend the few days he has remaining surrounded by family roasting marshmallows, singing campfire songs and teaching all the grandchildren how to fish, etc.

The letter with lake scenes and ta da there's Grampy center stage in the artwork you are there. Smiling ear to ear with his cane, dentures and butterflies, canoes, lots of blue water and sunshine placed just so by the young story teller and illustrator.

What seller would not want the property to go "to a good home" like a pet from the pound? The seller not wanting to let go of something that means so much... to a buyer who really wants and will appreciate not fix and flip for profit. What would you do if you were the seller is the key to how to structure all the infinite items.

Familial status is illegal though and just because you have kids, and another higher priced, no contingency buyer does not is not kosher. This case back in the early 1980's. It is not always the highest price... but many other factors from possession date, how the offer was made and if it offends or encourages. 

maine lake property


Feb 12, 2020 03:46 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I like working on the Sellers side of these, they generally win with multiple offer situations.

Feb 11, 2020 08:05 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

I don't. Since every situation is difficult, I don't think there can be single way to do it

Feb 12, 2020 03:56 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Just keep at it and never give up.  What you describe is typical in my area. 

Feb 12, 2020 01:46 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Submit the best offers.

Feb 12, 2020 08:01 AM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

I'd be real happy to receive a cash offer for over asking with a fast close & no contingencies. 

Feb 12, 2020 07:55 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

quite often the "clean deal" wins..... 

Feb 12, 2020 09:37 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


My thoughts on this are simple, some may say simplistic.  It is not the right home for your clients...No need to be at your wit's end.  There is always something better, that is my experience.  A

Feb 12, 2020 09:36 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

We experienced LOTS of that for 7 solid years.  Knowing the listing agent DOES help, if the buyer has the means, paying for Seller costs (title, extended coverage,e tc.) and having a pre-approval and can close quickly has helped.

Feb 12, 2020 08:10 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The only contract that has worked in Silicon Valley is cash, 1 week closing  and $500K over any other offer, up to 6  months free living.

Your area has a lot of multi-millionaires, and enough of billionaires. I doubt sellers will even raise their eye brow over $35K.  Try to offer sellers free loding while look for a place to stay.

Feb 12, 2020 07:13 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Send out an MLS email blast of your clients wants and needs of homes for listings that may be coming up. Submit clean offers in person until the answer is yes.

Feb 12, 2020 06:19 PM
Caroline Gerardo
Licensed in 20 states - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

Make offer in person, add a life plan story to the buyer's pre-approval, make offer 19 days or whatever seller wants and have lender who can deliver, show large down payment, don't make it contingent- tell the buyer to do a bridge loan

Feb 12, 2020 03:07 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

you can never tell what will do it.  Sometimes it's meeting the sellers, sometimes it's a letter, sometimes it's the highest offer, sometimes it's the cash offer.

Feb 12, 2020 02:36 PM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

Sometimes the best offer is going to win and no matter how good we are our clients don't have the ability to compete.  My tried and true method to put me and my client above the crowd is to build a rapport and let the agent and seller know who we are and how far we will go out of our way to make it an enjoyable, smooth and timely closing of the escrow.

Feb 15, 2020 10:32 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Paul,
As you know, it's not always about getting every penny. In multiple offer situations, you're trying to pick the best offer financially and, just as important, has the most likelihood of getting closed on time... and in a timeframe that works with the seller's future plans. Assurance of a smooth closing is key!

Feb 13, 2020 07:20 AM