Multiple Offers on a House? Here's How to Decide | BMO Harris
 
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A young couple tries to decide between multiple offers on a house.

It’s a situation that every home seller dreams about — having not just one, but multiple offers on a house. After all, sellers usually come out on top when there’s a bidding war. Now you just have to sit back and pick the lucky buyer. Easy, right?

Not exactly. While it might seem like the hard part is over, choosing between multiple offers can be more complicated than you think. Here’s what you need to consider when deciding between multiple offers on your home.

What are the details of the offer?

The first thing on your mind is probably the cold hard cash. How much is each potential buyer offering? But remember: picking the right offer is about more than the money. You want the best buyer with the best terms.

This means you also need to consider which buyer will cause fewer headaches down the line and help you sell your house in a timely manner. Here are some things to think about:

  • Is there a cash offer on the table?
  • Does the closing date work with your timeline?
  • Have the buyers and their agent been responsive and communicative so far?

It’s easy to feel tempted by the biggest offer, but the highest bidder isn’t always the best option. A good way to start your considerations is to rank all the offers by price, then drill down and identify how the details differ.

What exactly are the contingencies?

A long list of contingencies may be a sign of trouble. Contingencies are requirements that must be met in order to seal the deal on the house. If a buyer has a laundry list of contingencies, it might mean more work for you. Not only that, it can delay the process as a whole. Ideally, you want to find a buyer that will make selling your home (which is already stressful!) as easy as possible.

Are all the buyers legit?

Maybe you really clicked with one of the buyers and they could be your new BFF — but you still want to make sure they’re actually qualified to buy. You’ll need:

  • A pre-approval letter from a lender confirming their financing
  • A Proof of Funds letter showing they have the money available for the transaction
  • To make sure your agent verifies the information with the lender

The more information you have the better. You want to make sure you’re selling to a qualified buyer who has the funds to follow through with their offer.

What will happen to your house?

In theory, it shouldn’t matter what happens after you move, right? The goal is to sell the place to a qualified buyer. But sometimes there’s more to it than that — you might feel attached to the home and care about what happens to it.

If that’s the case, there will probably be a big difference in your post-sale peace of mind if it’s going to a family vs. a construction company that will demolish it. Get to know your buyers’ intentions and decide how much the fate of the house means to you and your family.

What does your agent think?

Your agent has probably been in the biz for a while and has seen a lot when it comes to receiving multiple offers on a house. And they most likely have thoughts about who is the best buyer and who is serious about the process. Get the scoop from your agent and see what they say. The choice is ultimately yours, but getting your agent’s feedback can guide you in the right direction.

What does your gut tell you?

At the end of the day, you want to feel good about your choice and not be racked with worries. Or even worse, experiencing some serious seller’s regret. Go with your gut when choosing a buyer. Your instincts are usually right — and will help you sleep better at night.

The bottom line

Having multiple offers on a house seems like a dream come true. But don’t get too caught up in the excitement. You can get burned by rushing into your decision or picking a buyer based on numbers. The extra work will pay off when you find the right buyer and feel good about your home sale.

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Offers are not contingent upon real estate agents referring clients to BMO Harris for any products or services.

  1. Special offers are subject to change without notice. Closing cost discount of $100 on a new BMO Harris mortgage loan with Auto Pay from your BMO Harris Smart Money™ Account, BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account or BMO Harris Select Checking® account. The monthly maintenance fee for BMO Harris Smart Money™ Account is $5, BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account is $0, and BMO Harris Select Checking® is $15. Closing cost discount of $200 on a new BMO Harris mortgage loan with Auto Pay from your BMO Harris Premier™ Account or BMO Harris Portfolio Checking® account. The monthly maintenance fee for BMO Harris Premier™ Account is $30 and BMO Harris Portfolio Checking® is $25. FHA loans do not require Auto Pay to receive this discount. Mortgage closing cost discount can only be applied to the purchase or refinance of a primary residence and does not apply to Refi-Xpress loans, home equity loans, interim, lot and recreational land loans. Auto Pay means periodic scheduled payments automatically deducted from your BMO Harris checking account, as applicable, to pay the loan. When you sign up for Auto Pay, you authorize the Bank to draw your account for all amounts then due, including any late fees and any other charges. Checking account opening subject to bank approval.
  2. BMO Harris Bank offers affordable mortgage programs and works with various government and community organizations that offer down payment and closing cost assistance. Affordable mortgage programs may be subject to income limitations and other application restrictions. The amount of down payment, refinancing, and closing cost assistance available varies based on income and property location.