We’ve already talked about navigating the multiple offer process as a buyer — a situation that many of our clients are finding themselves in lately. But what if you’re selling your Richmond home? How do you sift through multiple offers to decide on the best one for you? To find out, we chatted with Ruckart Real Estate Listing Manager Erin King about how sellers can make the best decision when handling multiple offer negotiations.
Are you seeing a lot of sellers dealing with multiple offer negotiations lately? Why do you think that is?
Erin King: Multiple offers have been the norm for us in 2021. So much so, that Mondays are lovingly referred to as “Multiple Offer Monday,” where the main job of the listing agent and myself is to juggle offers, contact buyer agents, create spreadsheets, compare and contrast terms, etc.
Why do you think that is?
EK: Honestly, I know people keep hearing the phrase “historically low inventory,” but I don’t think that quite creates a full picture. If you look at the number of homes actually listed, it’s considerably higher than this same time last year. The problem — if you can call it a problem — isn’t that the number of houses listed is fewer. It’s that buyer demand is so much higher. Historically, low interest rates are one piece of that, but I have a theory that quarantine created a huge desire for a real “home base” for a lot of people — not to mention the need for larger spaces and for additional office space. This “work from home” trend that we’re seeing is going to end up being long-term for a lot of people, and in many cases their homes just aren’t big enough for that. It’s creating this push to size up, and it’s flooding the market. This is a nation-wide phenomenon, but when you compound that with the fact that buyers are flocking to areas like Richmond, it creates a uniquely tight market here. We have stayed at this historically low inventory level (one month or less of available inventory) since July of last year.
What’s some advice you have for sellers who have received multiple offers? How can they decide on the best one?
EK: My best advice is to trust the process. We have a game plan that works, and if our clients stick with the game plan, they will net the best results. That may include making some improvements prior to listing (yes, even in a market like this one), listing at the right price, and waiting through the first weekend — not just taking the first over-list-price offer. It’s difficult, because in different market conditions we’ve said “a bird in the hand…” But in this market, you can end up with a whole flock if you just wait it out.
As far as choosing the best offer, it’s important to determine what’s most important to you in advance. Ideal close dates, rent back periods, inspection concessions, waiving appraisals… buyers are doing a lot of different things to stand out. Choose what is going to work best for YOUR family and YOUR future, and you can’t go wrong.
Tips for handling bidding wars?
EK: Stay calm. Look at the facts and figures. Ask questions, as many as you need to, to fully understand what’s on the table. You have a lot of seasoned professionals on your side, helping you to navigate this.
Any strategies for increasing the odds of getting multiple offers?
EK: Very simple. Win the beauty contest, and win the price war. Tommy and Brad say it all the time. Correct any deferred maintenance, follow our professional stager’s recommendations, create the fantasy that will draw the emotional response from a buyer. The buyer should walk into your home and just feel good. And price the home right. Dive into the comps, consider the market, objectively consider your home’s condition, and work with our professionals to pick the right price.
What are some common mistakes when dealing with multiple offer scenarios from the sellers’ standpoint?
- Making a decision based on a letter. I know, I know, I’m going to sound terrible when I say this, but… making an emotional decision based on a personal letter is a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to feel connected to a buyer and root for them. But just because a buyer didn’t write a letter doesn’t mean they want or deserve your home any less than the person who did. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a story. Choose what’s best for YOU.
- Just looking at the price. Sometimes the best offer isn’t the highest offer. Sometimes it’s the offer that’s $10,000 less, but waived appraisal and inspections. Sometimes it’s the person who offered you a free rent back until your new home is ready. Look at the whole offer, and make the right decision for you — the one that is going to allow you to hold onto as much of that equity that you’ve built as possible, and make your transition smooth and easy.
- Accepting an offer before the first weekend. I’ve already kind of touched on this, but trust the process. Wait it out. Don’t be intimidated by an early expiration on an offer. That agent works for the buyer, and doesn’t want to compete. Just wait until Multiple Offer Monday.
Are you ready to take advantage of this seller’s market in Richmond? Erin and the rest of the team at Ruckart Real Estate are standing by the help you sell your home. Get in touch with us today to get started.