When real estate agents deal with multiple offers, they often find themselves in difficult situations. On one hand, when agents represent clients bidding on a house with multiple offers, it can be tricky to set expectations and keep the client calm. On the other hand, when the agent is the person listing a property with multiple offers, it’s critical to negotiate effectively to ensure your relationship stays strong even if there’s not a deal to be made.
Navigating through these scenarios is a complex balancing act. By using these three tactics, real estate agents increase the chances they can navigate multiple offers with ease—keeping all parties satisfied along the way.
1. Negotiate with integrity.
When multiple offers are in play, agents must respond quickly and engage their clients at a moment’s notice, often encouraging them to make major decisions more or less immediately. In most cases, clients will be in a frenzy as they go through the whirlwind of the home buying process. Instead of taking advantage of this chaos, the best agents negotiate with integrity and tell their clients exactly how things are while not overlooking the negative emotions that the client may be feeling.
Though real estate is a highly regulated industry, it’s filled with people doing business without integrity. A few months ago, when there was limited inventory, sky-high prices, and low-interest rates, many agents were looking for a quick win. In many cases, agents didn’t have any regard for future relationships because they were so focused on closing the deal at the moment.
There’s a good chance you’ll be dealing with the same agents and clients in the future. You want to ensure you navigate each negotiation with integrity. That way, when you find yourself in another potential deal with some of the same people, there won’t be any bad blood, and you can work together cordially and effectively.
2. Use Accusation Audits™.
When navigating multiple offers, you will likely need to deliver bad news at some point. You might have to tell your client they’ve been outbid or tell another agent that your seller is going with another buyer. In either scenario, when you pick up the phone, the person on the other end of the line won’t like what you’re going to say.
You know that bad news will invoke negative emotions, so get out in front of them and diffuse them with an Accusation Audit™.
For example, if your client is bidding on a house with multiple offers and another buyer’s bid is higher, you might pick up the phone, call your client, and say something like this: You’re not going to like to hear this. You might feel like I am pressuring you to make a decision faster than you would prefer. Another buyer has bid more money on the house than you have, and you’ll need to let me know right away whether you want to improve your offer.
3. Employ Tactical Empathy™.
Whether you’re working with a buyer or an agent competing against multiple offers, it’s important to realize that these folks are under a lot of stress. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that buyers would only end up with properties if they would be willing to remove normal contingencies—like home inspections and appraisals—and pay $50,000 over the list price.
In real estate, productive relationships are only possible when clients trust their agents and agents trust each other. Using Tactical Empathy™ can help you build these trustworthy relationships by showing you understand where the other side is coming from.
Tactical Empathy allows you to slow things down in a way that ultimately speeds the process up. In using Tactical Empathy to develop strong relationships before you make your main ask, you make it easier to persuade your counterpart when that time comes.
And remember: There isn’t always a deal to be had. When the deal you’re in falls apart, remember to leave your counterpart on a pleasant note because the last impression is the lasting impression. In doing so, you increase the likelihood that the agent or the client will want to work with you in the future.
For more information on what you can do as an agent to close more deals, check out our free e-book: Real Estate Negotiation: The 6 Biggest Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make.