Multiple offers present challenges in surging real estate market
By Matt Ligon
We have all heard just how hot the real estate market is across the country and especially Williamson County. Realtors’ phones are burning up. Stores can’t keep sold signs on the shelves. New agents are joining our ranks and others are returning from retirement. Sales were up 21 percent in May and inventory is dropping. You can expect prices to rise with demand, and buyers are more likely to meet or exceed your asking price. When the market is hot it’s hot, and chances are good that you could be faced with multiple offers.
Multiple offers is the dream of many a home seller, and until they have lived through the process, many a Realtor. The situation can quickly become stressful for the sellers, potential buyers and even the Realtors. Your Realtor will lead the process and handle the negotiating. In a multiple-offer scenario it is imperative to be mindful of legal landmines, maintain a sense of ethics and master negotiating etiquette.
You can be a savvy seller before you even list your property. Many sellers have their homes inspected even before the house hits the market. You can make necessary repairs and make your home even more appealing to prospective buyers, not to mention shortening the home selling process. It’s simply one less roadblock on the way to multiple offers. You may want to consider purchasing a home warranty to ensure that after a clear inspection all major areas are covered for one year.
Did you know sellers are not obligated to accept an offer with the highest price? If you prefer a lower-priced offer, perhaps with a better qualified buyer or more attractive closing date, you can and should consider the alternatives. You may counter offer to one or more of the buyers. Ask your Realtor to help you weigh your options. With a hot property, you may receive a new higher offer after you have already entered escrow on an earlier offer. I would caution you that trying to back out of a contract is extremely unwise. An accepted purchase agreement is a legal contract and the buyer can take legal action to enforce it.
Above all, I would recommend sellers in a multiple offer situation rely on your Realtor’s experience and expert advice to guide you through the process. All Realtors must abide by the Realtor Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to provide guidance on multiple offer situations. It is their responsibility to demonstrate to clients and the public that we handle these situations with the utmost respect and fairness to all parties. Multiple offers can be a mixed blessing. Yet, we can all agree that we welcome the improving real estate market and the return to a healthy, stable economy in Williamson County and the rest of our country.
Matt Ligon is the president of the Williamson County Association of Realtors.
Posted on: 6/21/2013