How to Handle a Massachusetts Real Estate Offer
How to handle a real estate offer is an art. It is something that anyone working in the real estate industry should work hard at to sharpen their skills.
Working as a Realtor for almost three decades, one of the most enjoyable occasions is when you get multiple offers on a property. When you receive multiple offers on a home the chances are pretty darn good that you have done your job well and there will be a sold sign in the lawn soon.
While on the surface it may seem like a great thing to have multiple offers, I know numerous Real Estate agents that hate this situation because on many occasions it can become contentious.
When there are multiple offers on a home from a couple of different buyers there will only be one winner. One these occasions you can encounter some very sore losers.
As a Realtor representing the seller, I could care less because my job is to get my seller client the best terms and conditions period. It is not my job to worry about another Realtors or buyers disappointment.
While working various offers, I have found that many Realtors do not have a clue about Massachusetts laws when it comes to Real Estate offers. It seems there are quite a few Realtors who think they can make their own determination of the laws.
Here are a couple of mistakes that I see constantly being made in this business from Real Estate agents that don’t know any better.
In Massachusetts all offers, regardless if they are verbal or written must be presented to the seller.
The listing broker does not have the discretion to determine what is or isn’t worthy of the sellers consideration. It doesn’t matter how ludicrous an offer sounds, it is not up to the listing agent to determine the validity of an offer.
It is a violation of the code of ethics to withhold any offers whether verbal or written.
Over the years I have encountered numerous Realtors who would not present an offer unless it was in writing! Folks it is not legal for a Realtor to withhold an offer or tell another agent they have to put it in writing.
These instructions would have to come from the seller.
Another huge myth surrounding Real Estate offers in that a Realtor can not reveal the terms of a buyers offer to another buyer or their agent. That is complete non-sense!
“Seller here by authorizes the broker to disclose to perspective buyers whether an offer has been submitted on the property and to disclose whether the offer is from a buyer introduced to the property from the listing agent, by other licensee associated with the broker, or by a cooperating broker.
Disclosure of the price and any other terms of any offer shall remain confidential until closing, unless otherwise authorized by the seller.”
The words authorized by the seller is the key factor in determining what a Realtor can do with the information they have. In other words, if revealing terms of one offer to another party could help the seller achieve a better price for their property then the Realtor should absolutely do so.
This is actually a key as to how to handle a real estate offer! Remember the listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller to get the best terms and conditions by whatever legal means possible.
A Realtor who reveals the terms and conditions of a competing offer without the sellers authorization is a completely different story. This would give one party the upper hand over another and would breach a duty of fairness.
Again, Realtors need to make sure they follow the laws in place unless they don’t mind getting sued! This would be a clear cut case of how to handle a real estate offer improperly. An agent should always follow the lawful instruction of their client.
The Best Way To Handle Multiple Offers
There is an art when it comes to handling multiple Real Estate offers in Massachusetts. There are quite a few considerations involved to not only maximize the best offer possible but to make sure you don’t alienate the parties and end up with no offer at all. At the link above there is an in depth discussion on how to proceed when you have multiple offers. Bidding wars become very common place when in a strong seller’s markets.
It is very important for a seller and their agent to understand the best way to go about handling a bidding war.
There are a couple of different scenario’s in which a multiple offer situation could arise. It is possible there could be multiple offers coming in around the same time in which case all of the offers should be presented to the seller at the same time.
The potential also exists that you could be in the middle of negotiations with a buyer and suddenly find out you are getting one or more additional offers. The vast majority of the time when you have multiple offers it will be in the sellers best interest to go back to all bidders with what is referred to in the industry as a “best and final” offer. Each of the parties making an offer would be instructed to come back with the absolute best terms to the seller.
This of course puts the seller in the best possible position to get the exact terms and conditions they want. This by the way is what a real estate agent should always be doing!
I have summarized everything you should consider as a Massachusetts home seller when you are in a multiple offer situation.
Other Resources on Handling Real Estate Offers:
- How to handle a real estate counter offer when selling property via Realtor.com.
- What is the best way of dealing with a bidding war when buying a home.
Use these additional resources to plan how to handle a real estate offer whether it stands alone as the sole offer or when there are multiple offers at the same time.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on the how to handle Real Estate offers was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-435-5356. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 31+ Years.
Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.
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